Fireworks postponed until Labor Day weekend
The weather was beautiful Friday night in Fairfield as a large crowd turned out to dine, dance and shop at Fairfield 1st Fridays Art Walk.
Unfortunately, the nice weather gave way to rain clouds the next morning, which prompted the 175th anniversary committee to hold a meeting to discuss the future of that day’s events. The committee had planned a day of children’s activities, music and tours of Bonnifield Log House, not to mention the largest fireworks display in Fairfield’s history planned for that night.
Committee member Terry Baker said Doppler radar indicated more rain was in the forecast for that afternoon and evening. The committee decided to postpone the afternoon activities and the fireworks until Labor Day weekend. The exact date of the activities and fireworks has not been determined.
“At first, it looked as though we could have some pockets of good weather and we could go ahead with all of our plans, but by late morning, it became clear we would have to change that,” Baker said. “When the committee met, we talked about what we could do to ensure everyone would be safe if thunderstorms would come later.”
In addition to the safety concerns, the committee worried that soggy conditions would not make the activities very enjoyable. Furthermore, the fire department needs two to three hours to set up the fireworks, and if they get wet in that time, they fireworks are ruined.
“We made a considerable investment in purchasing fireworks, and we wanted to get our money’s worth,” Baker said.
The committee spent $5,000 on fireworks.
Baker said the committee members began setting up for the Saturday afternoon events that morning when the ground was very soggy. She said that even if the rain had completely stopped for the rest of the day, the ground would have been too wet to sit on and would not have been conducive to a fun celebration.
The committee opted to postpone the fireworks and the other activities that day to Labor Day weekend in order to give the public ample time to plan for it and for the committee to advertise it. Once the committee decided to postpone the fireworks, it had to return them to the seller because the city has no place to store fireworks. Baker said getting the fireworks back from the company before Labor Day would have been difficult. She has heard from a number of people who are excited for the newly planned Labor Day festivities.
“Several of the food vendors want to come back [for Labor Day] and make this a fun event,” Baker said. “Everything we had planned for that day has the potential to happen again.”
Baker said the other events from this past weekend, such as the historic display of the downtown, will not be resurrected for Labor Day. Pieces of Fairfield history were on display at Iowa State Construction on the west side of the square, which included a digital slide show of historic photos along with old maps, newspapers and other memorabilia.
The committee’s initial plan to shoot off the fireworks on July 5 instead of July 4 grew out of a desire to accommodate art walk and not to detract from the events happening in Central Park that night. Baker said previous celebrations have shown that attendance suffers when multiple events are scheduled for the same time, which is why the fireworks were pushed back to July 5.
“We wanted the public to be able to experience both things and not be faced with having to cut short one event to go to the next,” she said.