RIO GRANDE — A fireworks display is expected to launch 9:30 p.m. Saturday next to the Evan E. Davis Soccer Field in Rio Grande.
According Rio Grande Mayor Matt Easter, this will be the eighth annual “Rockets over Rio,” and the sixth year in a row where the event was funded strictly from donations.
“The show coming this year is an $8,000 show, which is $2,000 more than last year,” Easter said. “It just keeps growing and growing.”
Easter said watchers of the fireworks display should be able to see the event anywhere in the vicinity of Rio Grande so long as individuals do not sit within taped-off safety zones. Legendary Entertainment, the fireworks exhibition company, would not reveal the types of fireworks or nature of the show to the public as they wish it to be a “surprise” for when the event actually starts.
This year’s show is being dedicated in the memory of Dorothy “Dot” Nibert.
“We really start our fundraisers in February. Dot was always the first person to walk in the door and write a check for a small amount,” Easter said. “It’s those small amounts that make a night like this go off.”
Unfortunately, Nibert passed away before the next annual fireworks display. According to Easter, her family approached the fireworks fundraisers and wanted to throw a fundraiser at a family reunion because the family knew how much the show meant to her.
“They did the fundraiser and they brought in a huge donation to us,” Easter said. “Dot would come in and give her donation and talk to us for an hour about what Rockets over Rio meant to her. So we thought we should dedicate this year to Dot. Why not? I think she loved the fact that the community comes out and puts its differences aside for one night. We’ve made something that you can bring your family to that doesn’t cost a fortune (to attend). I think she liked the camaraderie of the community being together.
“And I think she liked fireworks.”
Easter said the community was “very proud of the event.”
According to Easter, the Rio Grande Volunteer Fire Department is offering a food menu. All proceeds will go to funding local fire fighting causes in the village. A fundraiser booth will also play host to a dunk tank to help fund youth baseball in the region.
“There’s going to be someone in it,” Easter said. “It’s going to be cold, but that’s not my problem. I’m not getting in it.”
Easter also said the Rio Grande Lions Club will also have a booth set up. All organizations there are showing in support of the community. Any of the money raised goes right back into the area.
Easter expects a record-breaking crowd this year. He said more than 60 entities were responsible for donating to the event.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.