MD to help with Canada Day fireworks

·3 min read

Celebrating a notable date or achievement by blowing something up is a uniquely human characteristic that has existed for thousands of years.

The first fireworks can be traced back to 200 BC in China. Pieces of bamboo were roasted over a fire until the air pockets in the bamboo would explode, helping to ward off evil spirits.

The creation of gunpowder and advanced trading routes between Asia and Europe increased the popularity of fireworks, especially among European rulers. The first recorded fireworks display in Great Britain commemorated King Henry VII’s 1486 wedding day.

Five hundred and 35 years later, council for the MD of Pincher Creek decided to lend a hand in setting off celebratory fireworks locally. At the request of the Town of Pincher Creek, council tentatively approved a $5,000 contribution to the Canada Day fireworks.

With the July 1 fireworks cancelled last year and the pro rodeo cancelled for the second summer in a row, providing a Covid-safe event that would still allow the community to come together and celebrate was seen as an important activity to hold.

The event will be organized according to all pertinent Alberta Health Services recommendations. If weather conditions or enhanced public health measures make July 1 unfavourable, a tentative date in August has been scheduled.

The total cost of the fireworks is expected to be $16,150, though if outdoor public gatherings are prohibited, costs for porta-potties and a DJ may not be required.

Should gatherings be restricted, it’s anticipated residents will still have the option to watch from their vehicles or even from their own homes.

An estimated 2,500 people watched the 2019 fireworks.

Part of the cost is being covered by the Celebrate Canada funding stream, which is providing $2,400 for the event.

The town also suggested that options to create a permanent partnership between the two municipalities could be explored, which Coun. Bev Everts thought was worth discussing.

“I see this as potential for a Covid-safe community event,” she said. “Maybe it does need to become a budget line item.”

Being clear on options for a partnership, added Coun. Quentin Stevick, would be more efficient than requesting money every year.

“I remember back when the first time we were approached about the fireworks, it was supposed to be a one-time deal,” he said. “The next year, it was so successful that we did it again. If we’re going to get asked for something on an annual basis, why don’t they start out and ask that to start with instead of trying to get us one year at a time?”

Alternative fundraising for the event, added Coun. Terry Yagos, was also an option that organizers should pursue.

“Remember when there used to be Thunder in the Valley in the Pass — a lot of businesses used to donate to it,” Coun. Yagos said. “I don’t see any outside donations here from businesses in Pincher Creek or even some MD businesses.”

Council ultimately decided to tentatively provide the $5,000 support, with the money not being transferred until two weeks before Canada Day to ensure the fireworks show was permitted to proceed.

Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze