Parrsboro seeking July 1 fireworks organizers

Andrew Wagstaff
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Public invited to form Canada Day committee

PARRSBORO – July 1 might seem like a long way off right now, but preparations for the Canada Day fireworks need to start soon, and town council is seeking assistance from the public.
Karla Fulton, who has been organizing for the fireworks as a volunteer for more than 10 years now, either by herself or as part of a committee, has advised council that she is withdrawing from this responsibility.

“I’m just plain tired,” said Fulton. “I was hoping somebody would grab hold of it and make it into a huge event because it does have potential. There are over 1,000 people at least out on that night.”

A committee of local volunteers was formed more than a decade ago to plan the fireworks, after the local fire department gave up the job. The committee ran strong for a few years before it started to dwindle in numbers, until finally it came down to Fulton doing it herself.

Meanwhile, raising funds became more of a challenge as other causes such as Relay for Life began to draw more from the public, she explained.

“I felt like I was all alone in it,” she said. “What happens if I order $5,000 worth of fireworks and then don’t raise the money? I was the only person responsible at that point.”

Council announced at its Jan. 28 monthly session that it was seeking expressions of interest from the public in forming a Canada Day committee. The town will make a financial donation to the event, while funding has also been requested from the Municipality of Cumberland County, and from a provincial grant program.

“Everyone looks forward to those fireworks as something that has to take place, there is no doubt about that,” said deputy mayor Lisa Ward. “Hopefully a committee pulls together and will be able to raise some money. If not, it will have to be looked at by council to see where the money is going to come from.”

Outside of grants, CAO Ray Hickey said there is about $1,800 that is normally raised from the public through a letter-writing campaign. If there is a shortfall in this area, he said council "will have to make a decision." Citizen Mary McPhee asked if such a shortfall could be covered out of $6,000 council has committed to its 125th birthday celebrations, and Hickey did not rule that out.

Twitter: @ADNandrew

Geographic location: Cumberland County

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