For the first time in more than 40 years, the American Legion fireworks display has been postponed. The announcement came Thursday on the heels of the state fire marshal cautioning against setting off fireworks because of extremely dry conditions.
American Legion Commander Dave Anderson, other members of the fireworks committee, Fire Chief Bill Halmich, Police Chief Ken Hahn and Brian Boehmer,assistant city administrator, all made the decision.
The fireworks are tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 14, with a rain date of Sunday, July 15.
If the dry conditions have not changed, the display will be held Labor Day weekend.
“We’re praying for a good rain between now and July 14,” Anderson said.
He said there was disappointment because the display is a good fundraiser for the Legion baseball team and because everyone looks forward to the event, but the safety of the display is always the top concern.
“It wouldn’t take too much heat-wise to start a fire,” he said. “We did this out of concern for the public. We don’t want to give ourselves or the city a bad name by doing something that is not advisable.”
Officials also notified John G’s Thursday that they would not be allowed to shoot off fireworks at a fundraiser scheduled for Friday evening.
Danielle Grotewiel said that while disappointed, the event would go on. She said there would still be a silent and live auction, music and other activities and encouraged people to support the Jaycees all-abilities park. She said the fireworks will be rescheduled, though a date has not been set.
Boehmer said the decision to postpone fireworks did not come easy.
“It’s up to each local jurisdiction, but based on current weather conditions and the future weather pattern we foresee, as well as in consideration of the local fires that have been occurring, the decision was made in the interest of public safety,” he said.