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All systems go for Clarinda fireworks display this year

All systems go for Clarinda fireworks display this year

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HJ - Clarinda Fireworks 2019

Fireworks like this from 2019 will light up the Clarinda sky following the Clarinda A’s baseball game July 3. The 2020 display had to be canceled due to COVID, but the Clarinda Fire Department was able to have the fireworks stored for use this year. (Herald-Journal file photo)

The fuse is lit and there will be fireworks this year in Clarinda.

Clarinda Fire Chief Roger Williams said the annual fireworks display is scheduled to be held following the Clarinda A’s baseball game July 3. In case of rain, the show would be moved to Monday, July 5. The A’s games normally conclude between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

“It’s nice to give the public something to look forward to. We are looking forward to people getting out and enjoying the show rather than having to be cooped up at home all the time,” Williams said.

Last year, the fireworks display was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That decision was made in late May following discussion Williams had with Clarinda City Manager Gary McClarnon and officials with J&M Displays, which is the company the Clarinda Volunteer Fire Department orders the fireworks for the display from.

“It turned out to be a good idea, but at that time we didn’t know the A’s were not going to have a season,” Williams said.

The cancelation of the show was further complicated by the fact the fire department had already placed its yearly order for $8,000 worth of fireworks in February of 2020 before the pandemic was declared. When Williams contacted J&M Displays in May of 2020, he was presented with two options.

Williams said the department could have canceled the order, but would have lost 28% of its refund. The second option was to have the company store the fireworks in a protected bunker in Creston until this year.

“About 80% of their customers who ordered fireworks last year ended up canceling their event due to the pandemic. Most everybody took the option to store their order in a sealed bunker. They told me it would not affect the fireworks at all, so I was pretty confident everything would be okay,” Williams said.

Although the fireworks for this year had already been ordered, Williams said he still needed to submit the necessary paperwork in February to proceed with the year’s show. Fundraising efforts from last year were carried over and donations are still being accepted to pay for the display.

Anyone interested in making a contribution to the event may contact the Clarinda Chamber of Commerce, the Clarinda Foundation, Clarinda City Hall or the Clarinda Fire Station. The Clarinda Fire Department will also be collecting donations following the show on July 3.

“Every little bit helps,” Williams said. “It feels like we are starting to get back to normal and the Fourth of July is something everyone looks forward to. We know they will be able to have a crowd for the game, so now we just have to hope the weather cooperates.”

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