MARQUETTE — Shooting off fireworks is considered to be the icing on the cake when it comes celebrating our nation’s independence. After experiencing a systems failure in 2014, the fireworks in the city of Marquette were anything but a disappointment this year.
The Marquette fireworks were something you needed to see and hear to believe. More than 1,700 fireworks were shot into the air near the Ore Dock. The show lasted about a half hour. Jerry Irby, a volunteer who helps put the fireworks display on, expected between 20,000–30,000 people to attend the show and he was not disappointed.
The fireworks display was choreographed to music on 100.3 The Point for both people at Lower Harbor and listening on the radio. The new additions to the show along with perfected traditional features are just a few of the reasons more and more people come year after year.
“They’re there, not just for the fireworks,” said Volunteer Jerry Irby, “it’s wonderful to look up and look out and see all of these beautiful fireworks but we’re celebrating our country. That’s the way we do it; with parades, food, fireworks, and families coming together sitting on the hillside viewing up and seeing how fortunate we are to live here.”
The thousands of people who were fortunate enough to make it to Lower Harbor saw arguably one of the best firework shows in Marquette history. Marquette Fireworks Committee President Tom Baldini described it as nothing short of spectacular, all thanks to a team effort.
“None of this would happen without really the cooperation and generosity of the local people,” said Marquette Fireworks Committee President Tom Baldini, “it’s the community that puts this together. Marquette likes the 4th of July, with class reunions, family, and things of that nature. Without the volunteers and the cooperation of all the fraternal groups, all the individuals who just come down and help out this would never happen. It says something about Marquette. It’s why Marquette is Marquette.”
While it may seem early to start planning for next year, that is not the case. Through careful planning, there was extra money from this years allocated budget, but close to $40,000 is required in total to pull everything off. Many people are already busy with planning for the first payment to the contractor in October.
“We’re going to be meeting to try and find a sustainability model,” added Baldini, “some way that people can do a check–off and make a contribution also. We have some big donors and we’re trying to spread this out with other people and we will be talking to the community about that.”
Both Baldini, Irby and several others confirmed that there was not a fire of any size at the Ore Dock as many feared. With such a tremendous response from the viewers, the firework display in 2016 is expected to be orchestrated once again as we celebrate the independence of our country.