Fireworks fund drive kicks off with dinner

The citizen-led effort to bring about the third annual Independence Day Celebration at Lions Park will kick into a higher gear Saturday, May 19 with a spaghetti dinner and fundraiser at the Elk River American Legion.

The event will go from 4 to 8 p.m. The cost of the dinner is $4 for children and seniors and $9 for adults. Of course, donations above and beyond will be accepted, too. A pancake dinner last year raised more than $2,000.

Proceeds will go to the fireworks show that is expected to cap off an afternoon and evening of fun in the park Wednesday, July 4. The last two years the committee has been able to contract with RES Pyrotechnics to put on an exhilarating $15,000 show.

“We hope to do it again,” said Jim Boyle, the chair of the Independence Day Committee. “We also hope to continue to develop the program’s traditions of local talent and local involvement spread across many community groups and organizations.

Tickets are available at the door and at area businesses, including the Elk River American Legion, First National Bank of Elk River, Central Bank and the Star News.

This year’s event will likely include an encore performance of the Elk River Red, White and Blue Elk River High School Alumni Jazz Band, but its director John Rosner is still looking for more members including alumni.

This year’s event might include a local Elk River “Idol” contest, and local community groups are also being sought to put on activities for kids of various ages.

“We’re thinking if Elk River Youth Baseball or Hockey wanted to give kids a chance to test their arm with a radar gun or their slapshot with a stick, the event would be even more attractive to you,” Boyle said.  “We would welcome organizations coming forward with suggestions, too.”

Youth athletic organizations that would consider manning an activity are asked to call 763-441-3500.

The Elk River Independence Day Committee will go before the Elk River Economic Development Authority to seek its support again for this year’s event.

The EDA and city of Elk River (with support of the Elk River City Council) has contributed more than $10,000 each of the past two years.

The community has rallied to raise another $10,000-plus each of the past two campaigns from citizens, businesses and community groups.