Lake Orion fireworks on July 2!
Still time to help make this the biggest bang ever
June 08, 2011 - Rumors were swirling around the internet and in the community that this year Lake Orion's annual fireworks display would be a bust, rather than boom.
Suffice to say, those rumors are false. Organizers of the annual firework festivities are planning on the biggest show to-date. Mark your calendars -- the show is Saturday, July 2, with a rain-out date of July 9.
"We are trying to raise the bar this year," Lake Orion Fireworks Association (LOFA) President Carl Cyrowski said. "Last year was by far the best show around -- there was a five minute finale. This year, we even hope to have a mini-finale at the beginning."
(Which we believe means a spectacular start as well as a enthralling ending.)
According to Cyrowski, last year's show cost $25,000 to put on -- this year the LOFA hopes to raise and produce a $30,000 show. To raise funds, the group has already hosted four poker tournaments; is planning a pancake breakfast; will scour its database and contact previous individual donors; and for the first time is selling raffle tickets for $25 each.
Of the 20 cash prizes, the first three prizes are $10,000, $5,000 and $3,000. Lake Orion Village Police Chief Jerry Narsh will draw the winning tickets on July 7. "We are only selling 2,000 tickets," Cyrowski said. "So the odds are pretty good."
Tickets are available at ten locations in around Lake Orion Village (for a complete list go to www.lakeorionfireworks.org).
Cyrowski is proud of LOFA's efforts to keep this Lake Orion tradition going.
"Many other communities have canceled their fireworks due to shortfalls in their budgets," he said, adding, "We have not relied on, or accepted money from any of the local governments and only rely on donations and our fund-raisers to pay for our annual display."
This year, as in years past, the fireworks barge will be choreographed and displays exploded by local pryotechnics expert Glenn Stokes. The barge will be anchored off of Squaw Island.
According to Cyrowski, the fireworks have been a local tradition for "about 40 years."
"One guy started out of his back yard -- and I don't recall his name. Then the next year neighbors started to pitch in -- it's grown since," Cyrowski said.
For those new to the area, folks in these parts start claiming towel-sized plots of land to watch the show along M-24 in downtown, a full day before the actual show.
New this year are concessions at Green's Park. The park will close at normal for one half hour -- so it can be cleared. Then folks who want to watch the show will be admitted. Village officials on Monday, were not sure if a pass would be required to enter, and if so, what (if any) the cost would be.
Chief Narsh estimated Green's Park can accommodate well over 1,000 people. "It's the best place to watch the show, and we have never hit capacity."
The annual breakfast/brunch fund-raiser is at the Lake Orion Boat Club on Sunday, June 26, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. According to Cyrowski, there will be free boat shuttle service from the dock on Lake Orion, behind the Porritt Light House building on M-24 --across from McDonald's Restaurant.
LOFA is also planning on a fireworks photo contest. While the details are not yet finalized, the winning photograph and photographer will be featured in The Lake Orion Review. Send your photo (via e-mail) to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lake Orion Fireworks Association is a 501-C4 non profit, so donations may be tax deductible, "check with your tax advisor," Cyrowski said.
Cyrowski also thanked all the volunteers for their help and singled out Brent Mitchell of Balanced Interactive for donating, set up and maintenance of their group's new website.
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: email@example.com