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Annual fireworks to light up Ellsworth sky

POSTED: June 23, 2012 7:00 a.m.
Ellsworth County I-/

Ellsworth celebrates July 4 with an annual fireworks display the Saturday before.

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When Ellsworth-Kanopolis Chamber of Commerce board member Steve Steinhaus volunteered to chair the committee in charge of this year’s Star-Spangled Spectacular, he didn’t know what he was getting himself into. What Steinhaus did know, however, was that he didn’t want the fireworks show to end.
“Ellsworth has done a lot for me, so I like to give back to what I can,” he said. “It (the Star Spangled Spectacular) is a part of our heritage, and I’d like to see it continue.”
The fireworks display will take place Saturday, June 30, at the Ellsworth Rec Center south of town. The gates open at 4:30 p.m., with fireworks starting at dark.
 Last year, the chamber took over the event from the City of Ellsworth because of financial reasons.
“Hopefully, we’ll have it endlessly now,” Steinhaus said. “I think we have it set up so it will last another two, three or four years.”
Steinhaus said he was overwhelmed with the planning process at first, but as time when by, it became easier.
“Everything is right on schedule,” he said.
Steinhaus has had several people volunteer to help in planning this year’s fireworks display — Megan Muchow, Delbert Armbrust, and Margaret “Mugs” Bourne. The Ellsworth Correctional Facility and the City of Ellsworth have also lent a hand putting up signs, and members of the Elkhorn 4-H Club will assist with parking. 
“It’s part of the Ellsworth community,” Steinhaus said. “They all pull together when somebody needs help and try to get that accomplished.”
“I’m really happy we decided to go ahead and take on the responsibility of continuing the fireworks,” said Bourne, the chamber president. “It’s a time for family, and time to celebrate the Fourth of July.”
Bourne said there is already seed money established for next year’s fireworks display.
“We’ve set a budget of what the fireworks would cost, our entertainment, and that type of thing,” she said. “Steve went to some corporate sponsors and they have given pledges. I don’t see a problem with not acquiring enough to put it on next year. The support from the community has been tremendous. I think it’s something the people want and enjoy.”
The chamber has a long history of involvement with the fireworks display.
“One of our goals of the chamber is to enhance the quality of life,” said Anita Hoffhines, Chamber board vice chairperson. “I would say for a town like Ellsworth, a fireworks celebration and a celebration of our country’s birthday is part of the quality of life. It’s something a lot of towns don’t do anymore.”
Hoffhines said for those people who live in Ellsworth as well as those considering living here, these kinds of events are what make this community and communities in this area unique.
“It has a lot of benefits, not only for those people who already live here, but those people that may consider working here, moving here, starting a business here,” she said. “It all joins together   — that effort is worth it.”

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