Fireworks show must go on
In the midst of many summer event shutdowns and cancellations, the Madras Sparklers are happy to announce that the fireworks show will be taking place as it has for 39 years.
The Madras-based 509-J School District has given the Sparklers permission to shoot off the fireworks from school grounds again. The only COVID-19-related regulation impacting the show is that people will not be allowed to gather on school grounds to watch.
But the grand fireworks show is visible from most anywhere in the Madras area.
Mike Ahern — an original Madras Sparkler and for years the lone individual who has raised the funds for the fireworks show and organized its production — said that this year's budget is $14,000.
The Madras show is unique compared to most community fireworks shows in that it is not underwritten by a local government or large business entity, but instead is funded through many smaller donations, primarily from local large and small businesses and residents.
The Madras Sparklers formed in 1981 to put on a daylong Madras Fourth of July event. For years, the Sparklers group arranged all aspects of the event — which included a morning 10-K run, parade, community gathering at Sahalee Park, and even bed races. The Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce stepped up several years ago to take over the parade and park celebration, and the Todd Beamer Memorial has long been the morning run.
The Sparklers' lone remaining function is putting on the fireworks show, and the Sparklers is the only organization raising money for the Madras fireworks.
Ahern is sending out donation letters to businesses this week. But you don't have to receive a letter to donate. If you appreciate the Madras fireworks show and want to see it continue, donate to the Madras Sparklers, 1219 NE Upper Drive, Madras, OR 97741.
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