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Salvaging July 4th celebration

Posted Friday, March 11, 2011, at 11:26 AM

We've reported in the T-G that the annual Shelbyville-Bedford County July 4 celebration at Griffin Park won't be held this year due to the cost of fireworks. The decision's understandable, considering the budget problems the city, in particular, is enduring.

But wait just a minute. We still have a park.

And we'll still have people who will be buying and shooting their own fireworks. Those of us who are in and around the park each year have seen some pretty good light shows from individuals living in nearby residential areas.

What about the possibility of a mass gathering of area residents and their own fireworks in the park around, say, 8:30 p.m. or so July 4? And, as dusk turns to night, everyone sets off their own fireworks, together or in some sort of planned order?

Everyone shares their show with others, and we retain that yearly mass gathering of thousands that I think is good for us as a city and county.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Is it possible to set up "donation" accounts at local banks for people to contribute to that would allow the purchase of the fireworks that would then be set of by a central group. It would be a lot more organized and easier to preserve safety measures.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Fri, Mar 11, 2011, at 1:27 PM

Good thought. My T-G colleague John Carney wondered if corporate donations or a corporate sponsor would be possible.

-- Posted by David Melson on Fri, Mar 11, 2011, at 2:17 PM

Yea, and your employer would make a good one to ponder his wonderings upon.

-- Posted by Blessed Assurance on Fri, Mar 11, 2011, at 7:19 PM

The towns around me give out permits to set up "roadblocks", usually twice a year, to collect money for their fireworks show. They are usually run by the CoC or a fireworks committee.

-- Posted by Tyger on Fri, Mar 11, 2011, at 8:41 PM

If the weather proves too dry,might we have our fireworks display on the waterfront-maybe,even have literal "floats" for a riverfront picnic and parade?

A little imagination and ingenuity could find viable options for just about any situation that might cramp our style.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Fri, Mar 11, 2011, at 10:45 PM

I have spoken with 2 city council members and the city mayor at the last city council meeting about saving the firework show. I was waiting on the approval from the council to work with a local bank, to set up an account. I have the first $100 bill to go in it. I believe that the show is very important this year, money is very tight and alot of people simply can't afford to travel or buy fireworks, but would still love to to celebrate the the 4th. I was informed by one local employee that said the firework show was just a waste of money. I personal think that is the wrong way to look at. Not only is the 4th of July is one the most important holiday in America, it is a way to bring the citizen all together for a good family day outing. Normally people arrive at the park at 7 wait on the show and leave at 9. I say start the day at 12. Have family events, sack races, 3 legged races, open the ball fields up to anyone that want to just jump on a team and play a little ball, setup a touch football field, open the rec center for tours, and offer a one day discount on people that want buy membership. Possibly even contact some local talent, bands to play at the park showcase. We can even hopefully have volunteer police to maybe do id-kid or car seat check, and fire dept to teach fire safety. Also it would nice to see our political member out in the public showing them that they are here for the citizens, listening to them. I even said this to Mr. Wallace Cartwright, the county has a dunking booth, we could put the city mayor and the county mayor in it for a couple of hours, and take up donation for a good cause. We need to look at the day as a day to celebrate our past and look toward a better future, not as a waste of money. If you have any ideas or comments on this you can email me at rmolder@bellsouth.net . I will try to respond to all that contacts me.

-- Posted by rodneymolder on Sat, Mar 12, 2011, at 6:47 AM

Brings up memories of a simpler time. I can recall getting up early on July 4th and heading out over the hill to pick blackberries. Ater getting back to the house and bathing [had to look for ticks and chigers of course], we would head out to the old community school-house for sack races, tobacco-spitting, hog-calling,wheelbarrel races, lots of good food[home-made pies,cakes and the fish fried in old kettle] LOTS OF FUN finished off with fireworks.

Mr molder has a great idea. A time for healing and looking ahead with fresh vitality and civility for each other.

-- Posted by ckna910 on Sat, Mar 12, 2011, at 10:08 AM

Mr. Molder does propose an excellent idea! A project well worth the undertaking with no political agenda attached. My wife and I would donate.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sat, Mar 12, 2011, at 11:57 AM

The 4th will be on a monday, so people will have a long weekend. What about it Jaycees, Big Brothers and other civic clubs. Great opportunity here, could become an annual event. Maybe the youth clubs could come up with a run/walk or something. Maybe a liar's contest LOL.

-- Posted by chas29 on Sat, Mar 12, 2011, at 1:17 PM

We could have a health fair,civic club recruitments and,perhaps,some history/patriotism/civics-oriented events.

I wonder how many "home-grown Americans" can rattle off the facts newcomers have to learn for citizenship tests.

One of the nightime events could be a screening of a patriotic movie like '1776'.

Some of our local performers could do readings,songs,a play,etc.

We could discover just what makes our country and

one another unique and challenging.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sun, Mar 13, 2011, at 1:11 AM

We could have a health fair,civic club recruitments and,perhaps,some history/patriotism/civics-oriented events.

I wonder how many "home-grown Americans" can rattle off the facts newcomers have to learn for citizenship tests.

One of the nightime events could be a screening of a patriotic movie like '1776'.

Some of our local performers could do readings,songs,a play,etc.

We could discover just what makes our country and

one another unique and challenging.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sun, Mar 13, 2011, at 1:11 AM

We could have a health fair,civic club recruitments and,perhaps,some history/patriotism/civics-oriented events.

I wonder how many "home-grown Americans" can rattle off the facts newcomers have to learn for citizenship tests.

One of the nightime events could be a screening of a patriotic movie like '1776'.

Some of our local performers could do readings,songs,a play,etc.

We could discover just what makes our country and

one another unique and challenging.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sun, Mar 13, 2011, at 1:11 AM

Thank you Mr. Molder for all your interest in our recent City government and its problems. I applaud you for doing something I think no one on our City Council or City Government has thought about doing. . . investigating existing problems and trying to apply new methods to inject life and energy to a downward spiraling budget. How many of our elected officials have taken three hours out of their day to inspect, evaluate and pour over the building and finances of the Recreation Center? How many of them are aware of the impending expenditures that will be needed in the near future for repairs and upkeep of an aging building. How many know that we are basically "giving away" the programs being offered. If you break down the amount being paid per year for a family to use the facility by the number of days a year it is being used, do they realize the city is not only providing a facility and a means for recreation, but the expense of the programs is also being born by the City. It is a nice facility, yes, but overuse and lack of upkeep has it looking dirty and run-down. Having a facicilty like ours is a luxury and a privilege, not a necessity. There are for-profit businesses that offer many of the same services, and you can be assured people are paying well for those services. I do not think we should be in competition with private business, but I do think we should evaluate our fees and adjust them to help offset and cover the salary and wages of personnel, and also the daily operational expenses of this facility. Everyone may cry out that they want this facility, but let's see if they are willing to put their money where their mouth is. I also appreciate Mr. Molder's willingness to speerhead a July 4th Celebration. When times are hard, and people are living in financially depressed times, we need to rely on each other, to come together in a concerted effort to offer fun and recreation and a reason to live and celebrate! Thank you Mr. Molder for reminding us of the Spirit that America was founded on! What better time to remember this than our Country's Declaration of Independance. We need to make this a celebration of "INTER-dependance". We have seen enough dirty politics, backstabbing, division, and governmental incompency to do for a while. Let's try a different approach by pulling together, working together to find better solutons that will benefit the entire city and not just a select few. Let's rely on the capable, the willing and those whose generosity will share resources that the City is lacking. We may be amazed with the right attitude and leadership to see just how much people are willing to do to make our city a better place for our citizens.

-- Posted by writeattitude on Tue, Mar 15, 2011, at 9:54 AM

We have to remember it is the city and county together that was told to cut spending.We always complain about things that effect us and want to cut things that don't. Molder has the right idea, instead of sitting home complaining, he has a plan to do something rather than just talk! The community needs to always be involved instead we want others to do it and we complain. I guess it is the American way.

-- Posted by racingray on Sat, Mar 26, 2011, at 8:40 PM

It's sad to think all people see is the all mighty dollar, what happened to tradition and family values. I don't think something I've done with my family every year is a waste of money. This is A TRUE HOMETOWN TRADITION. My son will be leaving in a few days to be deployed in Japan with the U.S.M.C. He won't be here for the 4th of July and there will be no pictures or stories to tell him about. It's very sad. I have always looked at the 4th of July at the park as a safe place for a community to come together and celebrate America and the freedom to be able to be as one for those few moments when those beautiful flashes light up the sky.

-- Posted by jennblo33om on Thu, Mar 31, 2011, at 1:13 AM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.