Council OKs Fourth of July contribution

The Elk River City Council has renewed its support of a citizen-led effort to assemble an  annual Independence Day celebration at Lions Park.

Council members and Elk River Mayor John Dietz authorized up to $5,000 to cover program-related expenses, including police supervision, portable bathrooms, garbage service and entertainment.

The Elk River Independence Day Committee’s next wave of assembling the money it will take to pull off a spectacular fireworks show involves businesses, civic and community organizations as well as citizens.

Letters to Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce-member businesses should be arriving early this week.

Local community service organizations and other civic-minded groups are being approached about making donations.

Business owners and managers, community organizations and citizens are encouraged to give in one of three ways. They can:

•Use PayPal at

•Mail checks to the Star News, 506 Freeport Ave. N.W., Elk River, Minn. 55330 (make checks payable to the Elk River American Legion, which is serving as a fiscal agent again this year).

•Drop a donation off at a participating local business, including First National Bank, The Bank of Elk River and Central Bank. Look for the brightly colored donation canisters.

The Sunshine Depot and McCoy’s Pub have also agreed to accept donations at their establishments.

There will be a pancake breakfast on June 5 at the American Legion.

The business community came through in a big way last year, contributing $4,420. Waste Management gave $1,000. Sportech Inc., the Minnesota School of Business and The Bank of Elk River gave $500 apiece. Another 20-plus businesses gave $50 to $250.

This year the Elk River Independence Day Committee is encouraging all businesses to contribute at least $20 — the equivalent of one fireworks launch.

“The more launches you purchase, the longer the show!,” the letter to businesses states.

Last year’s show put on by RES Pyrotechnics of Belle Plaine cost $15,000. The Independence Day Committee would like  match or beat that effort this year.

This year’s program will include the return of the Dodge Street Bandits and the addition of what has been dubbed the Red, White and Blue Elk River High School Alumni Band directed by John Rosner.

The Elk River Lions, who gave $1,000 to last year’s effort and turned over half their profits for this year’s show, will serve food again. They will be joined by several other food vendors this year, as it quickly became apparent one was not enough at the 2010 event.

There also will be kids games again, and possibly an Elk River Idol-type contest for older youth and bingo at the Elk River Boys & Girls Club on the east side of the park.

The Elk River Rotary Board of Directors agreed Thursday to contribute $500 this year.


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