Thunder On The Ridge Made Epic Return With A Bang
by James Coulter
After last year’s event was canceled due to the COVID-19 crisis, Thunder on the Ridge made an epic comeback this Sunday to as Haines City’s most beloved Fourth of July celebration and Polk County’s most spectacular fireworks display.
Although rainy weather may have nearly drowned out Ribs on the Ridge the day before, the summer sun cleared the clouds away for Sunday’s event. Several dozen attendees and groups gathered on the lawn of Lake Eva Park to listen to live music and wait in anticipation for that evening’s fireworks. All the while, they enjoyed the rest of the afternoon with lawn games, food trucks, and vendors.
Thunder on the Ridge on Sunday was part of a two-day celebration this year, being paired up with Ribs on the Ridge on Saturday. Both events were held simultaneously that weekend to help celebrate the return of Haines City’s Fourth of July event, which had been canceled last year due to the ongoing pandemic.
“It is amazing,” said Lindasia Jaynemeyer, Special Events Supervisor. “We are happy to see the community out here having a good time with their families and enjoying our beautiful park. They are out and having a good time. We are excited for the fireworks, and we are really glad that people are out to have fun and enjoy the day.”
This year’s event was hosted by their presenting sponsor Miracle Toyota, their entertainment sponsor Proflex Products, Inc., and all of their supporting sponsors, local business partners, city commission, administration, and city staff, she said.
“We couldn’t do this without our awesome staff and our sponsors,” Jaynemeyer said. “It is a team effort. That comes from everybody’s hard work to make it happen.”
Humberto Torres, GM Assistant with Miracle Toyota, was pleased by the turnout this year, especially following a yearlong pandemic and the cancellation of last year’s event. He and his business have been sponsoring the event for several years. This year’s event reminded him why they love it so much.
“We were unable to do it last year due to COVID,” he said. “Now that we can, it is very nice to see all of the community coming out and seeing all of the vendors and enjoying time together. It is a great thing to do.”
Miracle Toyota has remained a big influence on the Haines City community. Torres insists that sponsoring events like this allows his business to remain faithful to the three C’s: community, charity, and customers.
“This is something we do to give back to the community,” he said. “We are a very big influence upon the community. We are big business here. We enjoy coming out and helping out the community as much as possible.”
Visit Central Florida participated as one of the many vendors. They offered material promoting many of the other things to do in Polk County to play, stay, shop, and dine. Thunder on the Ridge is the largest fireworks display in the county, so this event is an opportune time to showcase everything the county has to offer.
“We want people to know there is a lot to do in Polk County,” Emily Marshall, representative with Visit Central Florida. “Everybody was so excited to have this event happen this year. Everyone was excited to come outside and to celebrate America and have a good time.”