Englewood boasts about putting on the biggest 4th of July fireworks show in Southwest Florida. However, this year donations are down. The volunteer group working to make it happen says the show could be scaled back but they're confident the community will step up and help.
"In 2009 the skies went dark. We did not have fireworks." Since then Ray LaBadie and the rest of the Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary Club have worked every year to put on the 35 minute $35,000 show. A draw from all over to Englewood. "It's a big challenge. We start in March and April putting out the rockets. They are in some businesses. There are 50 around town."
Problem is those donation rockets have had a few duds. Usually about $6,000 is dropped in. This year it's around $2,000. With other donations down too it means the show could lose it's grandiose title. "We are $7,000 short. I have not checked the P.O. Box yet today."
All of it coming together without any municipal support. Some in the business community have been filling the void. Dr. Tad Kosanovich with Englewood Eye Care & Optical throwing in a grand. "I remember growing up some of the best nights of summer was the 4th of July and going out with Mom and Dad watching the fireworks. If we can provide that for the families of Englewood it is a great thing."
Owner of Farlow's On The Water Keith Farlow donating $5,000. "The responsibility of doing well in your community with your business is to give back. They go hand and hand."
The rotary club has been knocking on doors and holding rallies. On the 4th they'll also be hosting a Cajun festival. Hoping the community drops a buck or two in the next few days knowing freedom isn't free and neither are those fireworks. "We don't want to stop. It already stopped once. I am very confident the community is going to pull together last minute."
The festivities on the 4th kick off at with that Cajun festival along Dearborn Street starting at 11am..