Austintown brings back fireworks
By Kalea hall
From his childhood memories, Jim Davis will always recall the memories he made at the Austintown fireworks show.
Davis, a township trustee, happily remembers attaching pop cans with his baseball teammates to cars of show spectators every year.
Davis wanted to bring the memories back to the community.
On Wednesday, after a seven-year absence, the Austintown fireworks show will return. The show starts at 10 p.m., and beginning at 4:30 p.m., several other festivities from local bands to old firetrucks will be at Austintown Township Park for entertainment.
“The majority of my childhood memories surround the Austintown fireworks,” Davis said.
Davis knew from hearing throughout the community that the fireworks needed to come back. He wanted to have the show last year, but it did not work out.
This year, however, with the help of Mark Cole from Austintown Generational Enrichment, Davis said they were able to get the funding needed to actually have the show. In January, Davis began asking the community for donations that were needed to meet a goal of $25,000. Altogether, $15,000 would go to the fireworks show and the rest to the live band performances, and other festivities that take place prior to the fireworks.
Ed Reese, the owner of Briarfield Manor, made the first large donation of $8,000 and then more donations came in.
Davis said they have raised more than $25,000 in monetary donations and $10,000 in donations of tent rentals, generators and other goods. Austintown Plaza, Central Park West Apartments and Hollywood Gaming/Penn-National Inc. were the other large donors.
“I think anytime you set a goal, you set it hoping to achieve it,” Davis said. “This is the type of community that people will do anything they can to help out.”
Colonial Fireworks will be setting off the fireworks show to the tune of music created by Davis. The 22-minute show will include oldies, childhood favorites, top 40 hits and patriotic music. The response has been very positive in the community and especially on Facebook.
“If I have any concern about this whole thing, it is that the park is going to be busting at the seams with people,” Davis said.
Davis is asking for everyone’s patience when it comes to getting in and out of the park because this is still a learning process for the township officials.
In order to keep everyone safe, there will be a zero tolerance policy in place for anyone who brings in fireworks. Grills also are not allowed.
“Our concerns are that we want to make sure everyone comes and has a safe and enjoyable time,” Davis said.
In addition to the fireworks, Austintown will have the annual parade at 2 p.m. July 4. The parade will start at Raccoon Road and Kirk Road and go north down Raccoon toward Fitch High School.