Batavia's Fourth of July 'Sky Concert' Could Be on the Ropes

Reports: Organizers need to raise $50,000 and have more than $45,000 to go, the Daily Herald reports. Would you be willing to help save the event that has been part of the Independence Day celebration for more than 50 years?

The fireworks display that has been a mainstay for Batavians and neighbor communities for two generations might be ready to fizzle out, according to a Friday report in the Daily Herald.

To put on the show, the Batavia ACCESS Committee has to raise $50,000. So far, it has $4,500, Batavia alderman Susan Stark told the Daily Herald.

Apparently, the fireworks get a big boost from parking donations, but folks aren't choosing the lots by the high school and Ace Hardware, in part because of the time it takes to get in and out. For safety reasons, no parking will be allowed on Wilson or Main Streets between Van Nortwick Avenue and Randall Road or on Randall Road from Main Street to McKee Street.

Parking donations are down, and corporate donations are down this year—not unexpected in light of the economic downturn. 

The fireworks are the grand finale, so to speak, of July 4 activities in Batavia. According to the Batavia fireworks webpage, the Savor-the-Flavor food vendors start at 5 p.m. and the band Automatic Fixx takes the stage at 7 p.m. for the 2013 Independence Day event. Fireworks are scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m.

The committee has until May 1 to determine whether the event is a "go."

The event has been going on in Batavia for more than 50 years.

"While the City of Batavia incurs costs for police and fire safety, no tax dollars are used to pay for the pyrotechnics," the website says.

The Geneva Chamber of Commerce used to hold a July 4 fireworks display several decades ago, but that fizzled due to costs. Geneva residents often go to Batavia, St. Charles or the Kane County Cougars for fireworks displays.

If you would like to help save the fireworks in Batavia, there are a number of ways you can help.

You can make a donation at the 555 website, which you also can find on the Batavia fireworks website. You can also volunteer to help the committee. The committee also raises funds via the Citywide Garage Sale.

A "Books vs. Badges" fundraiser will take place at 4 p.m. March 10 at Batavia High School. Batavia school teachers face off against Batavia firefighters and members of the Batavia Police Department.

Debbie Nelson February 15, 2013 at 05:02 PM
One way to raise money would be to charge a fee to all the attendees who want to stake off their rime viewing area more than four hours before the show.
Todd February 15, 2013 at 05:14 PM
People complain about the parking at Ace Hardware?? That's the absolutely best place to park. Easy out and easy access to north or south Randall, gets you to either side of the city quickly. The show's the best around, so I hope more people can donate!


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