I don't know about you, but I thought the fireworks in St. Marys were really nice this year. I had the opportunity to watch from a backyard deck on Spruce Street and found the view excellent. There were definitely some new and different pieces this year, as promised by the director of operations from the company who provides the fireworks, and at certain points "oohs" and "aahs" could be heard from all the way down the street. Kudos to the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce for continuing to sponsor this event and line up donations for both the fireworks and the entertainment, and for the St. Marys Golf Club (formerly the St. Marys Country Club) for continuing to host the crowds of people who attend.
As of right now, Fox Township and St. Marys are the only two municipalities in Elk County to hold Fourth of July fireworks celebrations. I think many people in the community would be really disappointed if the fireworks were to go away-- it just wouldn't seem like the Fourth of July.
They may not be as extravagant as Washington, D.C., Boston, or State College, but our fireworks mean a lot to us here. They are a symbol of our pride and patriotism-- remember "the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air"-- and besides that, they're just fun.
I can't speak as to how Fox Township funds their fireworks, but I heard it was a beautiful display this year. The fireworks in St. Marys rely on donations from businesses and individuals to continue. I know they have less than $200 left from their contributions, and I know that the economy is tough and that we all have other priorities. But when you see people out "canning," for our fireworks fund, and the donation jars at local businesses, maybe you could put a dollar in-- or two. That small donation will help fund a community event beloved by many.
Additionally, a lot of people today bemoan the fact that our youth do not receive enough civic education anymore. What better time to teach civics and discuss the events that have shaped our great nation, and the sacrifices our military men and women are making on our behalf today, when you are sitting on a blanket with your family on a green lawn and watching a dazzling aerial display of patriotism above? The Fourth without fireworks is just so un-American, don't you think?
-- by Victoria Stanish, Daily Press editor