Council gives $10K to fireworks

ABOVE: Fairmont fireworks over Lake Sisseton in Fairmont in the summer of 2023. The Fairmont Fire Department is currently raising funds for this year’s display.

FAIRMONT– This week the Fairmont City Council approved donating $10,000 to the Fairmont fireworks display. Typically the city has contributed $1,500 annually but was asked by the Fairmont Fire Department to increase its amount due to rising costs.

Three members of Light, Noise & Smoke, the fireworks committee, were present during the meeting to explain their request.

Cade Hartwig said that the committee is responsible for fundraising and organizing the annual Fourth of July fireworks display.

“These displays have become a cherished tradition, eagerly anticipated by residents of all ages,” Hartwig said.

The Fairmont Fire Department has been in charge of the city’s fireworks display since the late 1990s.

However, as indicated at the council meeting, the department is facing financial challenges that puts the future of the fireworks display at risk.

“In the last five years, our average cost has been $25,000 and in the last three years that amount has provided fewer and fewer shells due to inflation and increased shipping costs,” Hartwig said.

To ensure that the community continues to enjoy the fireworks display, Hartwig said the department was seeking increased financial assistance from the city council and requested $10,000 annually to help cover the costs needed to organize and execute the fireworks display.

In addition to getting funds from the city, the department also pans to do some private fundraising with the hopes of not only paying for the display each year, but to put money away so that eventually the interest will pay for the show without the need for fundraising.

It was also noted that this year the fireworks display will be held on the actual Fourth. Last year there was a last minute change to the Saturday before the holiday.

Sam Cress, another firefighter on the committee, said that the change was made due to a scheduling issue with the company that the department buys the shells from.

“We’ve now smoothed that issue out so we’re back to the Fourth,” Cress said.

He said that the department is committed to continuing to put on an annual fireworks display and noted that there are not many local communities, if any, within an hour that put on a firework show on the Fourth of July.

The department will soon be putting out information via a Facebook page and website so that people can donate to the fireworks display.

The council unanimously approved the request for $10,000 for this year’s fireworks display.

“I think that this is a good thing for the city of Fairmont to invest in… you guys bring in a lot of people, not only from Fairmont and the neighboring communities that are super close, but also from over the border in Iowa and even further away from Fairmont,” said Council Member Britney Kawecki.


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