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Mar 17, 2010

Fireworks Over Des Moines” Will Blast Off July 4th After All

LOCATION: Des Moines Marina, American 
DATE: March 14th
BY: Ralph Nichols

There's good news for Highline residents who celebrate America's birthday every summer with the fireworks display at the Des Moines Marina – the show will go on again this year.

Despite earlier concerns about the immediate future of the 10th annual Fourth of July Fireworks Over Des Moines, the event got a green light to proceed from the city council on March 11.

Due to a bare-bones budget this year, the city has no funds to provide either financial support or in-kind services such as traffic control by police officiers, as it has done as a community service in previous years.

But Brooks Powell of Des Moines-based Powell Homes (a WLB Advertiser), the prime sponsor of Fireworks Over Des Moines, told council members that approximately $7,000 in city services required for the event will be paid by private donations from his company – and, he hopes, with other local businesses chipping in as well.

As in the past, the Rotary Club of Des Moines will coordinate the overall event, contract with a professional fireworks company, and work with Powell Homes, other local businesses and the Des Moines Legacy Foundation to pay the associated costs.

The council unanimously approved the resolution authorizing this year's Fireworks Over Des Moines.

Prior to the action, Parks and Recreation Director Patrice Thorell reported that the Police Department "had offered some solutions for public safety" at the Marina, for traffic, and for boaters. She also said that South King Fire and Rescue again will be involved.

City services paid for with private funds will include coordinating logistics, traffic control and road closures with the Rotary Club and South King Fire and Rescue.

The $7,000 does not include the cost of Marina staff because they work longer hours in the summer and their shifts will be adjusted accordingly on July 4. There will be no additional cost to the Marina.

Access to viewing areas at the Marina will be limited to pedestrians only because of construction there and at Beach Park. Parking is expected to be available at several locations in downtown Des Moines.

The city will promote Fireworks Over Des Moines in its City Currents newsletter, the Parks and Recreation and Senior Services brochure, on the city's website and on Channel 21.

Advance notice of this Fourth of July celebration will also be made on both The Waterland Blog as well as on sister site The B-Town Blog.

Because the city lacks the funds to support special community events – even through in-kind police and other services – no such activities will be staged in Des Moines this year unless all costs are paid through outside funding sources. Most of these funds likely will come from business, as Powell Homes is doing for the fireworks display.

Confronted by this restriction, the ad hoc Waterland Parade Committee opted earlier this year against having a parade this year and decided instead to play for a bigger, Seafair-sanctioned parade next year that will be supported by private donations.

(Fireworks Photos courtesy Carmen Scott)

One Response to ""Fireworks Over Des Moines" Will Blast Off July 4th After All"
  1. Joe Average says:

    A hearty tip of the hat to Brooks Powell and Powell Homes for making this event possible! I know there are others such as the members of the Rotary but Brooks put it over the top. Thank you Brooks and the rest of the Powell Homes family. I wish the city could do more but it simply is not in the position. I sincerely hope the city will be able to contribute in the future as we celebrate not just our country's birth and our freedom but our way of life.



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