Fireworks are illegal in the city of Missoula, except in the parking lot of Southgate Mall at 10:30 p.m. on the 4th of July.

Mall Marketing Director Tricia Piedalue said the annual fireworks show is only a part of the family-friendly events to celebrate America's independence.

"We have a great line-up of activities if you're looking for a place to take the family to celebrate the 4th of July," Piedalue said. "We'll have music starting at about 9:00 p.m.and the Missoula City Band will be playing throughout the evening. Helicopters will come in and land and the kids are invited to peek inside, and then the fireworks will begin at 10:30 p.m."

Piedalue put to rest a nagging rumor that somehow the mall might be charging admission to the fireworks show this year.

"There us no charge," Piedalue said. "It is completely free for everybody. It's a great place for your family to bring their lawn chairs, bring their blankets, sit out in the parking lot and enjoy the evening's activities."

Piedalue reiterated the fact that blowing off fireworks is illegal in the city limits, so why not come and enjoy a fireworks show presented by professionals.

"Montana Display Fireworks puts on the show, and many of our local business people do the wiring and the explosives. They are the pyro-technicians who have been specially trained to put that together and fire those off."

Piedalue said many spectators come days early to get a good spot, but overnight parking is not allowed at the mall.

"If you plan to bring an RV or anything of that nature, or if you just want a good spot near where the fireworks are set off, get there early Thursday morning and you can get a space," Piedalue said. "We have special spaces for RV's and larger vehicles so they don't block the view of smaller vehicles."

Southgate Mall Marketing Director Tricia Piedalue