The City of Huntsville is striving to provide a full-scale Fourth of July celebration, to include not only family entertainment and refreshments at Kate Barr Ross Park, but also – with the help of City residents – a fireworks show.
According to Fire Chief Tom Grisham, the funding typically set aside to purchase fireworks was removed this year to achieve a balanced City budget. However, the Fire Department has organized a fundraising event which Grisham hopes will provide the monetary support necessary to conduct a fireworks show as in years prior.
“On Thursday, June 6, the Huntsville Fire Department will hold an all-day fundraising event entitled ‘Operation: Red, White and You’ in the Shenanigan’s parking lot area, where we hope to raise enough money to put on a free and safe fireworks show like we have in the past,” Grisham said. “KSAM will be there live for the whole event, and we will have fire trucks and firefighters on-site, so residents are encouraged to bring their cameras for unique photo opportunities.
“The sole purpose of the event will be to raise funding for a Fourth of July fireworks show, and since checks will need to be written to the Huntsville Volunteer Fire Department – a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization – donations will be tax deductible.”
Grisham said it is the Fire Department’s goal to hold a Fourth of July fireworks show regardless of the amount of funding collected, but the level of funding will determine the length of the event.
“In the event we can raise a substantial amount of money by June 6, we would be able to put on a 15-20 minute program like we did last year, which would require a licensed pyrotechnic, permits, licenses, and liability insurance,” Grisham said. “Typically, that kind of show requires between $15,000 and $17,000.”
The main motivation for having a City-sponsored fireworks show, Grisham said, is the safety of Huntsville and Walker County residents.
“I’d much rather see families come out and watch a public display in lieu of purchasing fireworks on their own and potentially getting hurt or starting a fire,” he said. “As the use, transport and purchase of fireworks within the City limits is against City ordinance, and it’s a Class C misdemeanor if our residents are caught transporting or using them.
“We would encourage the public to attend the City fireworks presentation as an alternative, since it will be legal and much safer. There will be fire, police and EMS personnel on-site to ensure the safety of the public.”
For more information, contact Grisham at (936) 291-5941.
Fourth of July event details
Following tradition, the City’s Fourth of July will be conducted in two parts, beginning at 4 pm. at Kate Barr Ross Park with family entertainment and refreshments.
“The first part of the event will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and so far, we have planned rock climbing, moonwalks, karaoke and a DJ,” said Natalie Reid, City of Huntsville Recreation Coordinator. “We also plan to serve snow cones, hot dogs, nachos, cotton candy, and popcorn.”
Food tickets will be sold at the event for 50 cents each, which may then be redeemed for food items on a first-come, first-served basis.
Provided that enough funds are raised for the fireworks show, attendants should expect the second half of the event to begin at approximately 9 p.m. or at dark.
“Don’t forget to bring your coolers, blankets and chairs, and get there early to reserve your spot for the fireworks show,” Grisham said. “In the event there is a burn ban in place, we will have to make a decision on whether to hold or postpone the fireworks show. While we are confident we’ll have enough fire protection on scene to manage any incidents that may happen, we will have several contingency plans prepared for the presentation.”
Attendants, please note: no alcohol or glass bottles will be allowed on the premises.
For more information call 936-294-5725 or visit our website at www.huntsvilletx.gov.