GREENFIELD — For the second year in a row, a corporate sponsor has stepped forward to make sure the sky over Greenfield will be lit up on July 4.
In fact, multiple sponsors were willing to foot the bill for the annual display, which was in danger of being canceled the past two years for lack of financial support.
This year, Dellen Automotive won out after agreeing to put up $7,000 to be the sole sponsor of the show.
Owner Nick Dellen said he plans to make it a tradition for the Greenfield car dealership and plans to sponsor it for at least the next few years.
“We thought it would be a good opportunity to show our support for the community, celebrate Independence Day and keep our name in front of the residents of Hancock County,” he said.
Just last year, the annual celebration looked as though it wasn’t going to happen. The Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce, which had been sponsoring the event for years, could no longer foot the bill, and no donors seemed to be coming forward. At the last minute, NineStar Connect stepped up with $8,500 to keep the display going. Two years ago, an Indianapolis businessman, Ernie Gutting, personally financed the show after it appeared it would not happen.
“It’s important for any community to celebrate our nation’s independence and come together,” said David Spencer, director of marketing for NineStar Connect. “We stepped up to make sure it took place.”
NineStar was poised to do so again this year, until officials found out they didn’t need to. Spencer said NineStar was happy to let Dellen take over the event.
The responsibility for the fireworks display has fallen on local donors and businesses in recent years after tight budgets left the city and other organizations, like the chamber, unable to afford it. Mayor Dick Pasco said he took on the responsibility this year of securing a sponsor, since the city didn’t have the funds to do so.
“It’s kind of an annual tradition,” Pasco said. “A lot of people seem to enjoy it.”
Pasco knows the importance of the event, which has been a tradition since the 1970s. He helped deliver the fireworks the very first year, when Kiwanis sponsored the event.
Pasco said he took a van to Indianapolis to pick up the fireworks with former school superintendent J.B. Stephens. Driving back, Pasco said Stephens started to light a pipe before deciding it wasn’t a good idea with the cargo on board.
“The first fireworks almost never happened,” Pasco joked.
Tamyra King is glad to hear the fireworks are safe for now. She took her children last year.
“It was good,” King said. “It’s a nice thing to get together.”
This year’s fireworks should be similar to last year’s. The same company, Circle City Pyrotechnics, will be in charge of the show, which will be held at Greenfield Central Junior High School for the second year in a row.
Greenfield Fire Chief James Roberts said it’s a safe place to shoot off fireworks.
“There’s plenty of room and quite a bit of parking,” he said.
The school, which opened in 2010, is at 1440 N. Franklin St.
The show will start at dusk.