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Archive for Thursday, June 28, 2001

Fireworks display

June 28, 2001

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The Lawrence Jaycees spent $5,000 on fireworks this year. That's $3,000 less than last year and a third of the all-time high of about $15,000, said Gary Saathoff, a coordinator for the Lawrence display.

"It will still be a nice display," Saathoff said, "but it's a couple thousand (dollars) less than past years."

The Jaycees lack more funds because its twice-a-year Children's Film Festival fund-raiser encountered lackluster sales the past three years, Saathoff said. The Jaycees also fund scholarships and deliver Christmas baskets with proceeds from the film festival.

Saathoff said the number of firework shells will be the same as past years, but there will be fewer big blasts this year. Large shells cost about $300, while the smallest cost about $20, he said.

The display, capping an evening of entertainment at Burcham Park, Second and Indiana streets, should begin about 10 p.m. and last about 30 minutes. Usually, about 5,000 to 8,000 people fill the park, line the Kansas River Bridge and sit on the levee, Saathoff said.

The Lawrence Jaycees have been doing the fireworks for about 50 years, he said, and accept donations for the fireworks.

"It's just becoming almost a financial burden and we're trying to find other ways to fund it," Saathoff said. "We're always open to new ideas."

Baldwin, DeSoto, Eudora, McLouth and Ottawa also will have fireworks displays the Fourth.

In Baldwin, the second annual Fourth of July festival will be at the Baldwin High School football field. Games and festivities start at 5 p.m.

DeSoto will have 20 to 30 minutes of fireworks at Lexington Trails Middle School starting about 9:50 p.m. The parking lot at the middle school is being renovated, so officials ask that people park at the high school.

Eudora festivities start about 7 p.m. with a concert by the Eudora Community Band. There will be food vendors and a fireworks display.

The McLouth fireworks start about 9:50 p.m. with seating to the northwest of the high school football field.

Ottawa fireworks will be at Forest Park after dark.

-- Staff writer Matt Merkel-Hess can be reached at 832-7187.

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