ASHLAND -- Ashland will have fireworks on July 4th -- “socially distanced style.”
The Rotary Club of Ashland, which has sponsored the community fireworks celebration for more than 30 years, and Ashland Mayor Matt Miller announced Monday the annual display on Saturday, July 4 will proceed with additional safety precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With all we’ve been through the past several months, we really need to have a fireworks celebration, and the Rotary Club is going to make it happen for our community,” said Rotary Club president Mitch Piskur. “But we need your help.”
He explained the COVID-19 related lockdown has put the club’s fireworks fundraising efforts behind schedule. The club hopes the community will support the event with donations.
Due to the pandemic restrictions and need for social distancing, the pre-fireworks entertainment and festivities in Community Stadium are being canceled.
“Safety is our number one concern in these times,” said incoming Rotary President Ted Daniels. “But we are fortunate that Community Stadium is surrounded by lots of neighborhoods, parking lots and open areas where spectators can easily spread out and responsibly practice social distancing while still enjoy this important community celebration. That’s what makes fireworks in Ashland more doable than in other communities.”
According to Miller, the fireworks vendor said it could shoot more of the rockets higher so the fireworks will be visible from even more neighborhoods and the surrounding area. He added he has been keeping Ashland City-County Health Commissioner Heather Reffett informed about the plans.
Piskur said community financial support is especially important since two of the club’s major fundraising sources — table sales for entertainment at Community Stadium and canvasing the crowd the night of the event — won’t happen this year.
The club is currently presenting a variety of sponsorship opportunities to past supporters, he said.
In addition, the club is holding a “50-50 Super Raffle,” in which a maximum of 150 tickets are being sold at $100 each, with a potential top prize of $7,500. Tickets are available from Rotary Club members.
“And donations of any size are also welcomed. Every little bit helps. It’s that kind of support that makes this celebration possible,” Daniels said.
Donations can be made online at ashlandrotary.net or mailed to Rotary Club of Ashland, P.O. Box 630, Ashland, Ohio 44805. For more information on sponsorship possibilities or Super Raffle tickets, email email@example.com or call 419-289-0161, ext. 1.
“We are going to have fireworks. Now more than ever it is time to celebrate our great freedom in this country,” Miller said. “Hopefully that evening we’ll be able to highlight our veterans and our first responders who have served us with such dedication during these uncertain times."