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June 12, 2014 7:45 am

Fire Department to end fireworks display

Written by Gib Mathers

After this July 4, new organization will have to put on annual sky show  

The Powell Volunteer Fire Department will end its decades-long tradition of providing a fireworks show after this Fourth of July.

Fire Chief Joey Darrah said the location just southeast of Powell is no longer conducive to a safe show, the event has become too costly and they simply don’t have the time to put it together.

The location, south of Cemetery Road, is filled with piles of dirt, broken concrete and brush, presenting a hazard to a safe fireworks display. And, firefighters have grown frustrated with an audience that does not adhere to the department’s ban on bringing personal fireworks when they come to the show.

The department is worried about people’s safety, Darrah said.

Also, when many of Powell’s firefighters are busy lighting fireworks at the show, they are short-handed when summoned to a fire or other incident. And, typical dry summer conditions often contribute to more fires when people celebrating the nation’s independence inadvertently start fires with their fireworks, Darrah said.

Prior to July 4, firefighters traditionally invested two evenings going door-to-door soliciting money for the show. They also sent mailers asking for monetary support.

The money raised the previous year was earmarked for the following year’s show. For example, in 2013, firefighters raised the money for the 2014 display, Darrah said.

This year firefighters will not be going door-to-door.

It costs between $10,000 to $12,000 to purchase the fireworks a year in advance. It has become increasingly more difficult to raise that, Darrah said.

He hopes another community-minded organization will read this article and take over the fireworks show. The department would gladly provide their expertise.

“I would hope that somebody would pick it up,” Darrah said.

2 comments

  • Comment Link June 14, 2014 5:40 am posted by A K Mayes

    So why don't the people in charge make it less costly?? And it doesn't have to be such a time-consuming event for cryin' out loud! It's the family-set fireworks that cause the damage...but don't take away our safety-sponsored displays! They don't have to cost that much money...downsize! Add some other celebratory events with it...picnics, music programs, bands...then have some fireworks...make it a good old-fashioned time of fun.

  • Comment Link June 16, 2014 8:12 pm posted by Powell Citizen

    Why doesn't the Powell Police Department contribute some of their funds from pulling people over and use that for the firework show like how Byron does?

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