Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's Time to Pony Up for Fireworks

Holiday time is a time when we, above all, celebrate tradition.

There's Christmas Tree traditions, the Pottstown by Candlelight Holiday House Tour, Menorah lightings, Santa arriving downtown and at the Coventry Mall.

But there is one Pottstown tradition which is one the ropes this year, and its not one we usually think about in November.

It's the fireworks that cap our days-long Fourth of July celebrations here in town.

Yes there's a parade, which is wonderful, car rally, events galore in Memorial Park, amusement rides, balloons and fly-overs. but the one everyone looks forward to is the fireworks on the final night.

What you might not know is that the fireworks are also the most expensive, and that the bulk of that expense has to be paid months in advance.

In previous years, the money raised prior to and during the events has provided enough money for the all-volunteer Fourth of July Committee to pay that fireworks deposit out of pocket.

This year, thanks to a combination of factors -- at the base of which is likely a slowly recovering economy -- that is not the case.

"We barely squeaked through to the end of the celebration this summer," committee member Terri Swavely. "There was very little left over."

The Fourth of July Celebration is more than just fireworks.
Part of the problem, Swavely said, is several large pledge commitments to the event were not honored.

No checks were ever received for as many as five major pledges, the receipt of which would net the committee as much as $5,000.

That money would definitely help the committee meet the $20,000 goal they need to reach by Jan. 1 in order to make the deposit for the fireworks.

But it won't be enough by itself, which is why the committee is asking people who appreciate that fireworks show to consider making their annual Fourth of July donation six months earlier this year.

All donations may be sent to:
Independence Day LTD.
c/o Maryann Peters
230 Beech Street
Pottstown, PA 19464

Or, donations can be dropped off in person at the Pottstown Parks and Recreation office on the second floor of Borough Hall, 100 E. High St.

This would be a great time for those who live outside the borough and who come in to town to enjoy the free fireworks and then head right back out, to give a little back and help a group of volunteers ensure they'll have something to watch come this July.

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