This year's Fourth of July fireworks show will be bigger and better than ever, according to organizers.
With a bigger and better show, however, comes the need for more funding. The fireworks show is held at Red Bridge Park overlooking Fish Hook River.
"We're a little bit less than halfway on fundraising," said Rotary fireworks chairman Alan Zemek. "The broader base of donors we have, that means everyone has to contribute less. The farther we reach and the more people we reach, it makes it that much more of a community event."
The fireworks show is costly and no tax dollars are spent. It's arranged and funded completely by private, tax-deductible donations.
This year's show will be significantly improved.
"There will be bigger bangs and more of an aerial show," he said. "So if you're downtown you won't miss the show. It will be spectacular."
The change was made deliberately, said Rotary member David Collins. A new provider, Zambelli Fireworks, was hired this year.
In past years, much of the show was low to the ground and could only be seen in Red Bridge Park.
"But not everybody can make it to the park," Zemek said. "By getting bigger shells it should be up above the trees and the whole community should be able to see it."
Contributions are tax deductible. Checks can be written to Park Rapids Rotary Fireworks Fund, PO Box 704, Park Rapids, MN 56470. A receipt will be given to document the tax- deductible donation.
Any donations made before June 30 will be recognized in an advertisement in the Park Rapids Enterprise.
A simulcast show will be playing during the fireworks on 97.5 FM and 92.5 FM. Last year there were speakers in the park but this year people will need to listen on their own radios.
"If you have your radio on you can hear the Star Spangled Banner, the U.S. Air Force Band, the '1812 Overture' and more," Zemek said.
A pre-show will start at 9 p.m. with representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, the American Legion, the mayor and the Rotary president. The fireworks will immediately follow the program.
"It's Minnesota's biggest and best Fourth of July celebration," Collins said.
Zemek thinks this year is an important year to celebrate because of everything going on in Park Rapids.
The downtown revitalization project is becoming a reality, a group is working on getting the Governor's Fishing Opener in Park Rapids and new businesses are opening, he said.
"It's a great time to celebrate it," Zemek said. "Like Dorothy said it, 'There's no place like home.'"