You may want to rethink where you intend to set your lawn chairs Thursday in Amery for watching fireworks. You are going to want to arrive at Soldier’s Field early, not to listen to the High School Band, they will not be there, but instead to claim your spot in an area that may get crowded.
This year there will be a few things that will be noticeably different about the July 4 extravaganza in Amery.
The firefighters from Amery’s Department graciously give up their time year after year on the holiday to put on a dazzling and colorful show for spectators. If you see a firefighter this week say, “Thank you.” Fire Department Chief Dale Koehler said, “It has been long standing tradition, I think I have narrowed it down to 52 to 55 years that the firefighters have been firing the fireworks in town.”
Koehler explained that different laws over the years have allowed firefighters to set off fireworks for a show, but through a training last year they found out they were too landlocked to be firing the display over the lake as they had been doing.
“It is too small of an area to fire the stuff we have been firing from where we have been firing, so we are relocating the firing to Soldier’s Field and shooting them straight up,” said Koehler.
What this means for people coming to town to watch the show is parking and watching in areas that have been popular in the past, such as Baker Street and the Golf Course, will not be conducive for really experiencing the show as it is meant to be seen. The best spot to see the fireworks will be at Soldier’s Field, but people will have to be moved back 75 feet from where fireworks are being lit. This means watching will be consolidated to the hillside and the first half of the flat area below the hill. Koehler said, “It should be as good of a show as always.”
The money that it takes to put on the fireworks each year is collaboration between the City of Amery and the Community Club. “Because of the donation from the two, we are able to put on the fireworks each year and we appreciate that,” said Koehler.
Spielbauer Co. Inc. is the company that fireworks are purchased from and carries the insurance policy on the event this year and also hiring some Amery’s firefighters to put on the show. “Part of the relocation is due to the insurance policy and a third party being involved. We want to do things as safely as the guidelines instruct us to,” Koehler said. The department has added some more infield fireworks to compensate for the loss of some the things they did in the past. He said, “The fireworks we are moving up are still pretty good sized fireworks, so it will be a pretty cool display.”
The show will still take place at dusk and there will be a Kettle Corn stand on-site.
Another big change this year is the Amery High School Band will not be performing before the fireworks display.
High School Principal Josh Gould explained that when new High School Band Director Meredith Enjian was hired late last spring, she already had a commitment to a master’s degree program out of state that will have her out of town over July 4.
Don’t forget Friday, July 5, from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Amery’s Giant Ice Cream Sundae event will take place at the Danielson Stage. Family games will keep attendees busy. The first scoop will take place at Noon and free will donations will go to the Salvation Army.