My Turn: Making fireworks happen time and time again takes help | SierraSun.com

My Turn: Making fireworks happen time and time again takes help

Kelly Atchley

On Wednesday, July 4, the Tahoe City Community will enjoy its 61st annual Fourth of July Fireworks show. Shot from a barge on Lake Tahoe off of Commons Beach, the night sky will light up with whimsical patterns of blue, red and gold to the sounds of oohs and aahs from the town below.Have you ever thought about how this Tahoe City tradition happens? The answer is volunteerism and community financial support. For decades the show was produced by the Tahoe City Volunteer Firefighters Association, and then the North Tahoe Firefighters Association who raised money with their famous boot drive, where firefighters collected donations in the street, for the show. In 1999 that effort moved to the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association as a community committee spearheaded by Kris Collins, with Liz Ransom. Today, the Tahoe City Fireworks effort is organized by a community committee no longer housed in the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. Overseen by Liz Ransom the committee is an all-volunteer effort that raises money through tee shirts sales, donations and local business sponsorships to produce the show. The committee is also a marriage of many great community partners who make it happen time and time again. The Rotary of Tahoe City provides critical liability insurance coverage, and the local businesses of Tahoe Marine & Excavating, Obexers, Williamson Boat Lift and Pacific Built manage the intricacies of the barge and its delivery for the shows. (This committee not only raises money for the Tahoe City show, it also procures the necessary permitting and contracts for the shows in Kings Beach and on the West Shore as well). The US Coast Guard provides the necessary blessing for activities on the Lake and local law enforcement continues to permit money collection along the highway in Tahoe City. Lastly, a few dyed-in-the-wool supporters give up a piece of their national holiday to solicit from the hundreds of people who come to town each year to celebrate the holiday. The funds raised each year are dedicated to the next year’s fireworks show for 2008 things are looking bleak. To date, only $7,000 has been raised towards a $20,000 show cost. But the Tahoe City Fireworks Committee remains optimistic as we get prepared once again to sell tee shirts, and solicit with that large fire boot alongside the highway in front of the fire house. The Tahoe City Downtown Association is proud to have partnered with this energetic local committee to work with them in the production of our wonderful Fourth of July entertainment. Whether you stay in town for the fun, or leave for the week, please do your part to support this Tahoe City tradition. Buy a tee shirt, or drop a twenty in the boot. The Tahoe City Fireworks effort deserves your support! Kelly Atchley is the executive director of the Tahoe City Downtown Association.