Mustangs fans gathered for one of the biggest and best fireworks shows around the area in what has become something of a St. Joseph Independence Day staple on Wednesday at Phil Welch Stadium. The event drew a massive crowd of of 4,247 attendees, not including the hundreds camped outside on the parkway, despite the Mustangs’ eventual 6-2 loss to the Sedalia Bombers.

Coach Johnny Coy touched on what it means to him to have his team’s Fourth of July game cemented in the contemporary tradition of the holiday in St. Joseph.

“This is my home town, I live here, and I absolutely love the community of St. Joseph,” Coy said. “It’s amazing to see how St. Joseph comes out and supports the Mustangs on this day, they could be doing anything with their families. But instead they come, they bring everyone to these games, it’s just amazing to see the support we have from this community. It really couldn’t be any better.”

The Mustangs failed to garner much in the way of offense all game, scoring off a wild pitch in the third to run in designated hitter Malik Williams and a run for outfielder Joshua Lincoln in the sixth to bring the game to 3-2, a close deficit that was eliminated in the next inning.

The Bombers overwhelmed the Mustangs in two innings in particular, diving their six points between the third and eighth innings.

However, by the time the eight inning rolled around, it was a challenge to keep your attention on baseball.

The sun fell over the horizon and fans rejoiced in the spectacle of the holiday, as the field at Phil Welch was permeated with a haze of smoke, the sulfrous smell of fireworks, and the concussive blasts of each colorful explosion rippling across the stadium as residents of St. Joseph began with their own small displays of patriotism.

Though the Mustangs failed to mount much of a comeback at all against the division-leading Bombers, the bitter taste of defeat was soon replaced by the thrill and awe of one of the team’s annual fireworks display.

The Mustangs will return to Phil Welch on Saturday, when they take on the Jefferson City Renegades at 7 p.m.