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Radio station planning community fireworks display

HOULTON, Maine — Thanks to an outpouring of support from the community, it appears Houlton will have a fireworks display on the Fourth of July afterall.

 

Upon learning that both the Chamber of Commerce and the Houlton Agricultural Fair had canceled plans for fireworks displays over the Fourth of July, Fred Grant, owner of WHOU radio station and Northern Maine Media, came forward with a plan to revive the display.

“We wanted to work quickly to find a solution,” Grant said. “It will be non-traditional. We won’t be doing them at the park or downtown.”

Instead, the pyrotechnics will be shot off from the top of Drakes Hill at the Military Street Baptist Church, pending approval from the Maine Fire Marshal. Weather permitting, the display will take place at 9:20 p.m. Saturday, July 4.

“We’ve requested the high-altitude fireworks that go anywhere from 300 to 500 feet into the air,” Grant said. “At that elevation, people should be able to see the fireworks from just about anywhere. That eliminates the need for people to gather in the park or downtown.”

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, gatherings must be 50 people or fewer. That restriction was one of the reasons why the Chamber opted not to do its traditional fireworks display downtown over the Gateway Crossing Bridge, as more than 1,000 people normally fill Market Square to watch.

Grant said bringing in a professional fireworks company to shoot off the pyrotechnics removes the liability of having to get permits or insurance for the event. The company, Central Maine Pyrotechnics, is responsible for obtaining all the necessary permits.

While businesses and individuals have been eager to help sponsor the event, fundraising is still ongoing. Those who would like to donate may do so by visiting: whoufm.com.

“There really has been a lot of support for this idea,” Grant said. “This [fireworks] is something we needed to have happen.”

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