Photo: Part of a baseball field at Olive Branch City Park is blackened after a grass field during the Light Garden’s New Year’s Eve fireworks show. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)
The hot time in Olive Branch to bring in the New Year on New Year’s Eve got a little hotter than expected when the Light Garden’s fireworks show was briefly paused due to a grass fire Sunday night.
Fireworks apparently caught the grass on two baseball diamonds and the area in between them ablaze shortly after the fireworks extravaganza started about 9:30 p.m., causing the show to be stopped as firefighters came in to water down and put out the fire.
After the blaze was extinguished, the show continued to its completion with no further incidents, part of which was posted on the Light Garden’s Facebook page:
The Light Garden promoted 5,400 fireworks shots that were used in the show to ring out the old year and ring in the new one.
There were no reports of further damage or injuries.
On Tuesday, Jan. 2, during the Olive Branch Board of Aldermen meeting, Mayor Ken Adams reported that attendance for the Light Garden this year was approximately double from the year previous. On New Year’s Eve, for the ticketed fireworks show, Adams estimated around over 1,200 were on hand.
The Event Benefits, which holds the event at the park, will be in the third year of a current three-year agreement in 2024. Adams said the fire did not cause any structural damage and was confined to grass only. A meeting with all parties was held on Tuesday to review what happened and to start taking steps to avoid a repeat next time.
The following are photos of the baseball field Monday morning, showing the grass damage caused by the fire.