ADDISON As thousands swarmed around them at the annual Kaboom Town festivities here Michael Campbell and Clint Whitehead exuded calm as they reclined in portable chairs their feet in sandals and propped on footrests.
Whitehead had come prepared with diced cheese cut watermelon and packed grapes chips and crackers in a blue cooler for Addison s annual Fourth of July extravaganza.
It s their seventh year at Addison s Kaboom Town fireworks show and the couple from Garland knew how to set up at the festival coming armed with a wooden table and decorating it with an American flag and two plastic wine glasses.
It s one of the best shows we ve ever seen Campbell said of the nationally known event.
More than 500 000 crowded into Addison on Wednesday sending the town s population of about 15 000 soaring for one day said Barbara Kovacevich the town s special events administrator.
Hotels were booked restaurants had extra staffing and spectators set up tents cabanas and grills all across Addison s 4.5 square miles. It s a quick economic boom for the area courtesy of the event that featured live entertainment food tents kid activities aerobatic acts and about 150 000 pounds of fireworks.
You can see the show from just about anywhere in town Kovacevich said.
For the first time this year Kaboom Town staff took the added security steps of fencing off Addison Circle Park checking bags and coolers and limited entrance into the park. Only 23 000 were admitted Wednesday less than half of last year s in park attendance of 50 000.
It s why Campbell 42 and Whitehead 49 left straight from work at 3 p.m. to snag a seat in the shade at the 10 acre park.
I totally understand Campbell said about the added security. It s good to have the crowd control.
At 9 p.m. the park gates were closed and people were asked to watch from other areas causing a stir among people who had driven long distances or who had friends and family already inside the park.
Andrea Collins and her two sons 16 year old Tristan and 10 year old Zachary were among hundreds standing outside the gates when they were closed. Collins 47 said they had come to Addison from Fort Worth at 5 30 p.m. after she got off work.
They closed the gates right on our faces Collins said. It was the family's first time at Kaboom Town she said and they had hoped to buy dinner from the park's vendors.
Unfortunately Collins had to choose an alternate spot.
Among the countless alternate spots to view fireworks was the Lion and Crown Pub across the street from Addison Circle Park. Bar manager Raul Garrido said crowds began filtering in as soon as the pub s doors opened at 11 a.m.
Once they release everyone from the fireworks you can t even move in here he said. Music switched between a live band and disc jockey and Garrido said the pup s entire staff of 15 was working.
Kovacevich said restaurants report that their business increases 20 percent to 100 percent the day of Kaboom Town. Garrido estimates that Lion and Crown Pub sees a 70 percent uptick.
Down the street the 159 room SpringHill Suites by Marriott had been sold out for five days said Silvia Zermeno who works the front desk. Most of the customers are area residents who opt to stay over in Addison instead of battling traffic congestion and a slow drive home after the fireworks.
It brings a lot of money Zermeno said of Kaboom Town. Let s just say that.