The fireworks with Rozzi Fireworks over the Highland County Fairgrounds will make their return for the seventh straight year on Monday, July 3.
Scott Lewis, organizer of the event, said the fireworks themselves would start at a “hard” 10 p.m. that night, but that the gates for the VIP area will open at 6 p.m. He said the event is also open to the public with the ability to park on the hillside west of the fairgrounds, the former Hillsboro High School location or at places like Lowe’s.
Lewis said that the VIP area, exclusively for those associated with businesses that sponsored the event, will have food trucks, a DJ and music. He said that outside on the hillside there will be Giovanni’s Pizza with pizza stations and a KONA ICE truck. He said there are two levels of sponsorship, a $500 level and a $1,000 level.
Lewis encouraged people to understand that the event isn’t publicly funded. He said it was entirely funded with sponsorships and by donors, and that if anyone wanted to get involved they were welcome and encouraged to do so.
“It’s a lot of work,” Lewis said. “As far as the contract has to be secured, which this year is well over $20,000 in fireworks alone. They’re $1,250 a minute, to give you an idea of what they cost. Of course, then you have to pay for security, you have to pay for port-a-johns. You have to pay for numerous other things to make it all come together. So, lot of logistics to it, but this is our seventh year and it’s actually one of our better years as far as getting people to rally behind it and getting sponsors. Hopefully we get some nice weather come Monday.”
Lewis said that because costs increased by 25 percent, the show would be “dialed back” a bit on time but “the finale will make up for that.” He also said it would be right at 24 minutes in terms of show length.
The event also hopes to bring back the digital detonation technology it started using last year. He said that there was only one “snafu” last year when something “kind of” misfired.
“The goal is still to use it this year because. Once again we’re having a nice soundtrack we’ve been working on as far as getting that time,” Lewis said. “And then a friend of mine who’s always supported the fireworks, we’re dedicating the finale in his honor. Hopefully, the weather will allow us to do the electronic detonation. But if it’s any chance of storm or static in the air, we can’t use it because, unfortunately, it can’t go off.”
Lewis said the same crew that did the detonation last year will be coming back to do this year’s, adding that “they’re very good” so problems shouldn’t be expected.
In terms of attendance, he said that he’s expecting 1,000 people inside the VIP area, then outside on the hillside there should be an “easy” 2,000 people.
“That’s what’s good about our community,” Lewis said. “A lot of people enjoy going up to the high school just because it sets up on the hill. They rope places off. Then some churches have a cookout and whatnot and some folks, you know, go to Lowe’s, First State Bank. They have their own little deal … It’ll be 3,000 to 4,000 people watching easy.”
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.