Fireworks drive well shy of the goal

by Jim Boyle

Fundraising efforts for the Elk River Independence Day celebration’s fireworks display are progressing, but the size of this year’s show may have to be scaled back from the two previous years.

The Elk River Independence Day Committee is working hard to raise $20,000 for a fireworks show and program and has about $12,000 in hand so far, with commitments for another several thousand.

“Our goal is to have another $15,000 fireworks display and put on a nice program for the community,” said Jim Boyle, the chair of the Independence Day Committee. “I think we’ll get there, because we have a lot of asks out there and the community has always come through.”

Shane Martin and his band will headline the event, and the Elk River Red White and Blue Alumni Jazz Band will perform again this year. The emcee is Dan Hertsgaard, a retired WCCO radio broadcaster who lives in Elk River.

This year’s program will run from 5 to 10 p.m. at Lions Park with fireworks at 10:15 p.m.

The fiscal agent for this year’s event is the Rivers Edge Downtown Business Association.

New to this year’s event will be an Elk River Idol contest for kids ages three to 18.

Auditions will be from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. June 20 at the Handke Family Center gymnasium. The cost is free with pre-registration.

All participants may bring a CD with background music (no vocals), play piano (provided) or guitar (not provided).

This event is open to all youth singers in the Elk River area.

There are four age categories (3–6, 7–10, 11–14, 15–18). Those passing through the audition stage will be invited to perform at the Independence Day celebration on July 4th at Lions Park in Elk River.

At the celebration participants will obtain votes from spectators while performing during the celebration. Winners will be announced later in the evening, before the fireworks begin.

Email [email protected] to request an audition registration form be sent to you for completion. After all registrations are in contestants will be emailed a confirmation with their audition time.

The Elk River Independence Day Committee hopes to attract recent participants from talent contests at local schools, including Elk River High School.

There’s also a Powered by Nature photo contest being added this year. It is  being sponsored by Sandhill Photography, a local photography club led by Jay Grammond with many members from Elk River.  (See sidebar for more details.)

For more information on the third annual Elk River Independence Day celebration check out the committee’s website at

Donations are being accepted online or can dropped off or mailed to the Star News at 506 Freeport Ave. N.W. Elk River, Minn. 55330. Checks should be made payable to “Rivers Edge — Fourth of July Fund.”