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Waconia Lions Club donated $8,000 toward the Fourth of July fireworks. Here Lion Richard Beckett presents a check to Waconia Chamber of Commerce President Christine Fenner and Chamber Communications and Event Coordinator Chelsey Koubsky. (Submitted photo)

The Lake Waconia Fireworks Festival (a 501c4 non-profit operated by the Waconia Chamber of Commerce) has been fundraising and organizing the Fourth of July show for decades. In collaboration with a dedicated group of longtime experienced volunteers, the show has been delivered to the community to celebrate America’s birthday. We’re thrilled to be bringing the show back for Independence Day after cancellation last year due to COVID 19 restrictions, but it won’t come without a few obstacles.

Planning for the 2021 show began in January, and preparations began to raise $30,000 for the fireworks display. During the initial meetings, lead pyrotechnic Ryan Christianson anticipated challenges. Fireworks from China in shipping containers in the ocean needed to pass through customs. Production in China and supply chain issues led to shortages and have caused the prices to increase. Nationwide, there has been a hike in fireworks pricing and the cost of shipping has doubled.

Luckily this year’s fireworks were purchased early, and the pyrotechnics team was able to receive the inventory for a great show. However, due to the increased pricing, the amount that the Lake Waconia Fireworks Festival had to raise was 20 percent higher than in previous years. Cities like Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Stillwater have canceled fireworks due to supply chain and budgetary reasons. We’re fortunate to be able to get the fireworks and are grateful for the donations by local businesses and organizations to fund the show.

In addition to shortages and increased prices, the dry weather conditions in the area increased the level of precautions. We were fortunate to have rain this past weekend. Nonetheless, the Waconia Fire Department will have two fire trucks staged and ready for extra safety measures.

The Waconia Lions are the major contributors of the show, donating $8,000. Other non-profit organizations such as the Waconia West Carver Rotary, Waconia Fire Relief Association, the American Legion Post #150 also gave generously to support the show. The majority of the remaining funds provided came from our business community.

Last, the show is put on by a certified group of trained community pyrotechnic volunteers. It’s through local donations and volunteers, that the 2021 fireworks show is set to go off with a bang!

The fireworks display will be located at the Lake Waconia Regional Park on Sunday, July 4th at dusk. Good viewing all around the lake. Community members looking to support the show may visit DestinationWaconia.org to donate.

Christine Fenner is president of the Waconia Chamber of Commerce

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