(Toledo News Now) – Local governments had to drop the fireworks as revenue shrunk over the past few years, but at least two cities are bringing back their shows this year.
Crews are busy setting up for the fireworks show in Wauseon. It will be the first Independence Day show in three years, but it was not the city that brought back the show, it was the community.
Fireworks will light up the sky again in Wauseon after budget cuts ended the festivities three years ago.
"We understand with the economic times, it's difficult and it's unrealistic to ask the government to step up to do it," said Asst. Chief Rick Sluder with the Wauseon Fire Department.
This year Wauseon's Fire Department decided to step up and spearheaded fundraising of $15,000.
"We just didn't want to see people have to leave town to celebrate Independence Day, which is the heart of what America is all about," said Sluder.
They went to businesses asking for donations, held a chicken barbecue, and started the Adopt a Boom program, where one of the bursts would have the donator's name on it for a fee.
The firemen also saved money by helping run the show themselves.
"They will be shooting tonight, but there will be people working along right beside them that are experienced shooters. By the end of the night, they will all be able to handle it without any problem," said Gary Peel Jr. With Extreme Pyrotechnics.
Fireworks start at 10 p.m. at Biddle Park.
Waterville brought back the boom, too. The community had not had a firework show in two years.
"The city had budget problems like all cities did. So we stepped in and the community stepped in to, as they say, 'Bring Back the Boom,'" said Chuck Larkins chairman of Red, White and Boom.
The committee started the fundraising effort back in March. It not only met its goal of $20,000, but surpassed it with $23,000.
"It's really exciting. We were told that we would never be able to get the amount of money that we needed in such a short time, but the community really responded," said Larkins.
The fireworks go off at 10 p.m. at Waterville Elementary School. A festival precedes it starting at 5:30 p.m.
Both communities said they are already planning for next year.
"We're going to do it again, and we want to see fireworks on a permanent basis out here," said Larkins.
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