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Column: Making Fireworks Happen

Dear Readers:

I LOVE fireworks.

Any family of mine and anyone who has known me for any amount of time (particularly during my college years) would probably take this statement as correct but an under-exaggeration.

I have a college professor that still tells his students to “ask him about blowing up the toilet” when they meet me with him nearby.

Having retained all of my fingers into adulthood and having children that I need to show a good example for though, my enthusiasm for shooting fireworks has been transferred into enthusiasm for shooting pictures of fireworks. It’s still a lot of loud noise and it’s still a lot of fun, but I and those around me are probably safer with me leaving the lighting to the professionals.

Which brings me to page 1 of last week’s paper. I took a photo I’m quite proud of and the amazing fireworks going off for me to take the photo of were the result of a whole lot of work and experience from some professionals, and yes, money too, from those who support them.

I am not just complimenting the fireworks because I thought they were nice looking or because I got a good photo. I’ve heard it from other people too. At the time I’m writing this, I’ve talked to three separate people unrelated to the newspaper or to producing the Nashville fireworks who complimented how good the show was.

One of those people even mentioned how much better they were than a similarly-sized nearby town’s display was.

Which brings me to my point here. I have used this newspaper to advocate for the use and support of those things in this community that we value, and that, in doing so, we are helping those things to be better. Specific examples I can think of are Washington County Hospital, the area schools and their organizations and teams, the Nashville Public Library, and the KC Nashville Education Center.

I think fireworks (and other local events like them, sure) could be added to this list. It’s plain that people appreciate them, or they wouldn’t be mentioning it, and it takes a lot to put them on.

I’m not just talking about the work, materials and experience that are put into the production by Steve Haertling and the crew of volunteers that work with him every year (those out there doing the lighting are all Nashville Volunteer Firefighters, by the way), it’s also about money.

The city of Nashville makes a donation to the Nashville Fireworks, and so do the Nashville Lions Club and numerous area businesses and organizations. What really makes the fireworks able to be as good a show as they are though, is the donations that come from regular people, the folks throwing a few bucks, or even a few coins into the buckets at the entrances to the park.

So it’s a simple thing to make a donation, or even just having some extra money to toss into those buckets next year, if you can.

The fireworks are great, is the point, so let’s support them. Otherwise, what am I going to take pictures of next Fourth of July?

–Alex Haglund, Managing Editor

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