Waconda Lake Fireworks display set for June 30

BELOIT – During last week's commissioners meeting, Heather Johnson of Beloit, reported that this would be her families last year to sponsor the Waconda Lake Fireworks display. This years event will take place at dusk on Saturday, June 30. and donations are now being received.

The Johnson family took over the event in the summer of 2011 after the Waconda Lake did not have a fireworks display. 

"Our family had always enjoyed this holiday tradition so we as a family decided to research what it was going to take to get the project up and going again," said Johnson. "After some researching and securing a company who would handle the pyrotechnics, being Rainbow Fireworks out of Inman, Kan., we then began working on the paperwork portion dealing with permits and event insurance." 

The Johnson family spends many summer weekends at the lake and say it holds very special memories for them. 

"The Waconda Lake is also very impacting to our local economy," said Johnson. "So many visitors come to our area to celebrate the holiday and we felt it was something that could not be cast aside in regards to benefitting local businesses. 

Being this as the Johnson's last year of sponsoring the fireworks event, they are hoping an organization or individuals will step up and take over the duties.

"We hope this local holiday tradition will continue," said Johnson. "There are so many people in North Central Kansas that benefit from this event.  What we like about the event the most is the unity it brings to Waconda Lake and the surrounding areas.   The weekend of the fireworks the lake is just packed with boaters and campers who have chosen our area as their holiday destination.   The evening of the show, seeing all the headlights on the roads and boat lights on the water is our favorite thing." 

The show can usually be viewed from West of Glen Elder to the East side of Cawker City. Between 7,000 to 8,000 people have been reported as showing for the event.

The five-member Johnson family has served as the association members for several years and announced this will be their last year of doing so. The fireworks require about $9,000 per year in funding. They seek those funds out through about 200 solicitation letters which are submitted annually.

"We have been blessed with so many generous businesses and individuals who have supported the Waconda Lake Fireworks Association," said Johnson.  "Every year we are somewhat worried about receiving enough donations to fund the show, but every year we receive what we need. There are a lot of behind the scenes individuals who help with the cause such as   Kevin Marozas with designing all the ads, the park staff of Waconda Lake, Mitchell County Rural Fire Department No. 3, and local emergency management services. It really is a process that does not take a lot of effort, it seems like a lot but truly it is somewhat simple. We would continue the efforts but with kids moving in different directions in the near future, our long standing holiday plans will look different for us in the upcoming years."

To help donate to the fireworks event or if interested in taking over the event, contact Heather Johnson at  785-738-8905.  

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