fireworks moved to 3rd of July

Friday, January 19, 2018 18:38 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

– LaPorte, traditionally the ceremonial state capital on July 4th, is moving its fireworks show to the 3rd.

The hope is to restore a 20 to 30-percent loss in revenue from attendance declines after Michigan City in 2015 began having its fireworks at the lakefront on the same night, said Joy Zigler, past chairperson of the July 4th celebration for the LaPorte Jaycees.

The service organization is entering its 72nd year of hosting the July 4th festivities here and uses the $5 per vehicle charge for the fireworks at the LaPorte County fairgrounds to help pay the tab.

Zigler said annual gate revenue has dropped by three to five thousand dollars from having to compete with the fireworks in Michigan City, which used to have its show the week after Independence Day as part of the annual Summer Fest activities.

''It's been significant,'' she said.

Various sponsors like Bethany Lutheran Church help pay for the LaPorte celebration, which includes not just the cost of fireworks but rental of the grounds along with insurance, Zigler said.

She said it also costs money to put on the over 100 unit parade with marching bands and clowns, for example, charging a fee.

Zigler said the change will also benefit Jaycees members who after the parade can enjoy the remainder of the holiday with their families.

''While we understand and appreciate the history of this event, changes needed to be made to continue to make the event viable,'' Zigler said.

The switch in Michigan City was driven by residents feeling a bit overrun by people from places that already had their fireworks and to ease problems the influx had on control control, said Kalon Kubik, administrator at the mayor's office.

''We were running into some issues,'' Kubik said.

He said turnout ever since has remained strong while outbursts have been minimal.

Zigler said the fireworks can always be moved back to the 4th if the change doesn't go over well with the public.

''I appreciate the history of this event and the tradition it's always been but we also have to look out for the betterment of our organization and our community,'' Zigler said.