Lions Club hosting fireworks show at park

Published 9:56 am Thursday, June 25, 2015

One of the community’s longstanding summer traditions returns to Sister Lakes this weekend, as the Sister Lake Lions Club hosts their annual Fourth of July fireworks display Saturday night.

The celebration will take place at dusk at Lions Park, located at 66991 95th Ave., near Big and Little Crooked lakes. Free parking will be available on the 38-acre grounds, with the show taking place around the park’s former race track. Preshow activities are scheduled to begin around 9 p.m.

Handling the show this year will again be crews with Wolverine Fireworks Display, based out of Kawkawlin, Michigan. The 25-to-30-minute show will feature a number of aerial and ground pyrotechnic displays, said Ron Jacobs, spokesman for the Sister Lakes Lions.

“Quite frankly, it’s one of the best firework shows in the area,” Jacobs said. “People have told me it’s better than the one held in St. Joseph every year. It’s really worthwhile to see.”

The show typically draws between 200 to 300 people to the park grounds every year, with many more residents watching from their homes or on the lakes, Jacobs said.

The Lions Club has been organizing the annual fireworks show for well over two decades. The explosives were originally set off by members of the Sister Lakes Fire Department, at the small island located on Round Lake, Jacobs said. However, increased federal regulation of fireworks display following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 required the club to hire professionals to handle the display every year.

As with the case last year, the club is holding the display on the weekend before Independence Day, which helps get them a discounted rate for the show, Jacobs said. The cost of the show usually runs the Lions between $3,000 to $4,000 every year.

“We have the support of most of the businesses and merchants in the general Sister Lake area, and some in Dowagiac as well,” Jacobs said. “They help us defray the costs of the show. We usually get enough to cover the cost of the fireworks.”

Lions Club members will also be present the night of the show, collecting donations and helping visitors park cars. They will also be on hand to sell concessions such as hotdogs, popcorn and soft drinks, Jacobs said.

“This is like a fundraiser for us,” he said. “It helps us raise money for all the things we do throughout the community.”

The club will also be holding a raffle the night of the event as well, with prizes of $300, $150, and $100 handed out to winners, Jacobs said. The local fire department will at the event as well, selling glow sticks and performing demonstrations to visitors before the fireworks display.

With plenty of fun for the entire family, the Lions Club is hoping for another strong turnout to this year’s show, Jacobs said.

“It’s part of Americana,” he said. “It’s just a lot of fun.”