City launches fundraiser for bigger, better fireworks show
Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza announced he has launched a GoFundMe page on the city’s behalf to raise funds for an expanded Fourth of July fireworks display at Riverfront Rendezvous this year.
The city is in the process of planning this year’s Riverfront Rendezvous and is looking to boost this year’s show after the city’s long-time fireworks contractor, Five Star Fireworks, had to raise its prices this year.
“It’s important to note the same fireworks display has been happening every year for five years, it’s also been the same cost: $10,000,” Wiza said. “The city budgets that out of our general budget and the vendor has been giving us the same display for the same price for the past five years.
“This year, we were told that for $10,000 we get less. They’ve been giving us the same price as a service to us, and they can’t do it anymore. So, we asked what it would cost to get the same, and it was about an extra $1,000,” Wiza said.
“So, I started thinking. We already had Sunset Winery hold an event – Canvass Painting – and raise money (for the fireworks) and have already presented the city a check for about $250. So, I thought, ‘a lot of people were saying Rosholt’s was better, or Plover’s is better’ … and I said, ‘well, put your money where your mouth is, and let’s fund a better fireworks show together.’”
Wiza said the city has had a $5,000 fireworks sponsorship program for a long time, but only one company has every used it. Sentry Insurance sponsored the fireworks show for the 150th anniversary of Stevens Point.
“That option is still there. If someone wants to step up and sponsor the fireworks, they’ll get naming rights and be on the brochures and probably the T-shirts … it’s an advertising package just like any of the other events,” Wiza said.
“But I put it really to the general citizenship. You don’t like the fireworks? Put $5, $10 or $20 toward the fireworks and now they’re really ‘our’ fireworks,” Wiza said.
The city’s total goal is $15,000, a third more than what the city has been spending.
The city has used the same fireworks contractor for many years and plans to stick with Five Star Fireworks because the city has worked well with them each year, Wiza said.
“The Fire Department has a very good working relationship with them, they understand their setup, they understand their training and they work well together,” Wiza said.
Anyone interested in contributing to the Stevens Point fireworks show can do so at www.gofundme.com/stevens-point-fireworks.