|Season of fire and fireworks|
|Written by Jane Stebbins, Pilot staff writer|
|June 20, 2012 11:27 am|
This year’s Fourth of July fireworks displays in Brookings are a ‘go.’
Fireworks are launched from the south jetty at the Port of Brookings Harbor in 2011. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
That’s the latest from VFW quartermaster Wade Hatfield, one of many veterans who has been soliciting funds to make the fireworks happen.
“One guy goes out every day, business to business to business,” he said. “ ‘Ante up! You stand to benefit.’ ”
The show will be presented by Entertainment Fireworks Inc., of Olympia, Wash.
The pyrotechnic firm, which put on last year’s display on the south jetty at the Port of Brookings-Harbor, is keeping this year’s details under cover.Even VFW members don’t know what to expect.
“It’s going to be an awesome show,” Hatfield said. “We’ve gotten that further verified since we talked with the owner of the company.”
The company boasts 21 magazines – explosive storage buildings – stocked with aerial shells from 2- to 16 inches, a wide variety of candles, fountains, multiple-shot items, and other pyrotechnic materials.
“It’s going to be bigger than last year, and more of them,” Hatfield added. “But what they’re going to shoot, they’re keeping very close to their vest.”
Pyrotechnic experts plan to arrive July 2 and spend the next two days setting up for the 45-minute show, schedule to start shortly after 10 p.m.
“If they’re taking two days to set up, this is going to be a show to behold,” Hatfield said.
Gold Beach fireworks
Gold Beach is hosting a five-day Fourth of July event, with a 20-minute display of fireworks featured over the bay at 10:05 p.m. Wednesday.
Those interested in seeing the explosions from below can make reservations with Jerry’s Rogue River Jet Boat Trips. Money generated from that will go toward the cost of the fireworks.
Other events slated throughout the long weekend include a barbecue, beer and wine garden, karaoke and contests.
The event was formerly organized by the Gold Beach Chamber of Commerce, but time, financial and liability restraints forced them back out this year, said executive director Sandy Vieira.
Last year’s even cost $8,000 and lasts between 12 and 15 minutes.
Gaddis said she is about $3,000 shy of the $10,000 needed to pay for the fireworks, all of which comes from community donations.
“If I have to get out there and beat the streets on the 2nd and 3rd, I’ll be there,” she added. “We don’t want to be one of those communities that doesn’t have fireworks.”
So far, the City of Gold Beach and Jerry’s Rogue River Jet Boat Tours have contributed the most toward the expenses.
The VFW in Brookings is also trying to raise $8,000 toward the $25,000 needed to cover costs associated with its festivities.
They were worried earlier this spring, as donations were merely trickling in. But Fred Meyer officials have confirmed a contribution, and Bi-Mart has made a verbal promise, Hatfield said. Donations from Chetco Financial Credit Union and Evergreen Federal Bank have helped as well.
“Slowly but surely,” Hatfield said. “It’s coming along.”
The Gold Beach Chamber of Commerce is still soliciting donations for its Fourth of July show, too.
“We’re not worried about them,” Hatfield said of potential fireworks over fireworks. “We’re not trying to raise money outside of Brookings. People in Brookings are more interested in their own fireworks.”
The VFW is also still looking for vendors; the deadline is June 25.
For more information, contact the VFW at 541-412-7214. Contributions for the fireworks show can be made to VFW, P.O. Box 2475, Harbor, OR 97415; or at the Chetco Credit Union, c/o Fourth of July Fireworks.