City’s annual fireworks display set for July 3
By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- A $1,000 "firecracker" named the "Blockbuster" will be the last spark to illuminate the sky at this year's Thursday, July 3, Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored fireworks display in Niles.
The firecracker, which measures 16 inches in diameter and is usually only used in more expensive firework displays, was donated to Niles Chamber by F&F All Season Inc. of Niles.
The fireworks will be displayed at the Apple Festival grounds at 17th and Lake streets at dusk on Thursday July 3, in Niles.
Sather hopes to repeat last year's success, when an estimated record amount of 6,000 people turned up for the Chamber-sponsored event.
He said the festival grounds will be filled with vendors selling food and refreshments from late afternoon, and portable toilets will be put up on the festival ground.
Sather also said visitors will find ample parking, mainly at the Apple Festival's Main Fair ground.
But also the Niles High School parking lot, as well as National Standard's parking lot on Lake Street, and the parking lot for the baseball ground across the street from Jerry Tyler Memorial airport, will be open for parking.
Sather said volunteers will assist police in regulating parking.
And, volunteers are the key to the annual event the Chamber took over from the city years ago, Sather said.
He would like to thank the Berrien County Civitan Club, Lisa and Bob Croteau, volunteers from Niles' Wal-Mart, Tye Stratton and Chamber Staff for the work they put into this year's event.
Sather also thanked the City of Niles, the city's fire and police departments, as well as Niles Community Schools, who let let the Chamber use the school grounds for the event.
Niles City Fire Department will oversee the fireworks display and the city police department and SMCAS will be there to assure the safety of guests, Sather said.
However, people will be far removed from where the real action takes place. Sather said, as usual, the firework display will be set off from inside the airports premises for safety purposes. Sather also encourages people to remind at the fairgrounds after the first round of fireworks is done.
Sather said there will be a pause to separate the traditional fireworks from the display of the big bomb.
He invites everyone to come and take part in the event. Rain date is set for July 4. Sather said dusk will be around 9.30 p.m., but people are welcome to come earlier to find a good place from which to view the fireworks display.