Joplin Parks and Recreation Partners with MSSU for Independence Celebration

Image Credit: Curtis Almeter, Missouri Southern State University

In consideration of the Missouri Southern State University’s COVID-19 Operation Plan, the City of Joplin and Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) have modified the 2021 Independence Day Celebration to a fireworks-only show. The fireworks will be set off on the eastern side of the MSSU campus on Sunday, July 4 at 9:45 pm.

On May 24, 2021, MSSU moved to Modified Phase One of campus operations concerning the COVID pandemic. Under the Modified Phase One plan, mass gatherings for non-classroom activities require six-feet of social distancing between participants.

“With respect to the MSSU operations plan, we will keep the celebration the same as 2020,” said Paul Bloomberg, Parks and Recreation Director. “Continuing the fireworks display gives everyone the opportunity to enjoy a traditional July 4 activity while being mindful of the guidelines.”

Area residents are welcome to watch the display from designated MSSU parking lots. “The eastern side of campus is one of the tallest points in Joplin, which provides a good viewing experience from different vantage points around the area,” said Bloomberg.

Parking lots will open at 8:30 pm with the fireworks show starting at 9:45 pm.  Ten minutes prior to the show’s beginning, crews will light a single firework to alert the audience of the impending start. The show will last approximately 20 minutes and will be set to music, which visitors can tune into 88.7 KXMS to experience. The entirety of the fireworks celebration will be broadcast live on KGCS-TV, Channel 21 and on KCGS Facebook page.

The stadium and amenities will be closed to the public.

For more information about this year’s celebration, contact Joplin Parks & Recreation at 417.625.4750 or visit


Joplin Parks and Recreation Department

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