Third annual Fortuna Fireworks Festival to be held July 3

Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

For the past three years, dedicated Fortuna businesses and residents have donated their time, money, and hearts to treating the community to a Fireworks Festival. Each year, the festival expands and draws larger crowds to enjoy a pre-party to the Fourth of July.

This year's event will be held on July 3 at Newburg Park in Fortuna. Kid's activities and a barbecue will begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. with a firework extravaganza following at dark.

The event has seen a lot of support. Hops in Humboldt generously donated a $3,500 grant towards the fireworks while FBID has provided advertising and insurance. Wendt Construction stepped up and sponsored the stage, lights, power, and all technical support. The Fortuna Fire District, City of Fortuna, FPD, and Parks and Recreation have also been instrumental in the success of this event.

According to the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce and event coordinator Tina Taylor, "The outpouring of support for this year's event has been overwhelming. Donations ranging from $25 to $500 are coming in every day, every little bit helps. It just proves that even in the toughest economic times a community can pull together to put on an event that celebrates the true spirit of small town America!"

There is a wide assortment of kid's activities during the event to keep families of all ages entertained and excited. Kid's activity wristbands are $3 and include many fun events. There will be clowns, balloon animals, bounce houses, rock climbing wall, tug of war, potato sack races, ice cream eating contest, Fortuna Fireman's challenges, and other fun activities.

All kids wanting to enjoy the entertainment must be accompanied by an adult and have a parent or guardian sign a liability waiver in exchange for the low cost wristband that allows unlimited activities from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Parents will not be bored either with the many entertaining activities to watch their children participate and "Butch" the Mechanical Bull will be there to tempt their competitive nature for $2. Kids can enjoy a calmer ride on a pony for $2.

There will be a pie eating contest at 7 p.m. The competitive nature of local businesses, city departments, service clubs, and community groups will be put to the test as they sign up a representative to eat a pie with their hands tied behind their backs for the title and the trophy.

The barbecue is $10 for adults and $5 for kids and includes tri-tip or chicken, potato salad or chips, corn on the cob, watermelon and a roll. Water or soda can be purchased for an additional $1. The barbecue will also have hot dog plates which includes two hot dogs for $6, hamburger plates for $7, and a hot dog hamburger combo plate for $8. In addition there will be a separate snack tent with cotton candy, snow cones, and other goodies. All proceeds will go towards the cost of the extended fireworks show.

Those who just wish to relax and take in the spirit of small town America can bring a blanket, chair, LEGAL fireworks and find a comfy spot to sit back and relax. The sweet tunes of Twango Macallan will be center stage to entertain, but rest assured the traditional spirit of the Scotia Band will provide the patriotic rhythm synchronized to the climatic fireworks show.

Pyro Spectacular will be putting on the light show after dark around 9:30 p.m. It is exciting to know that the show will be almost double of what it was last year.

The Toddy Thomas Cheerleaders will be raising money selling glow in the dark items. Boy Scout Troop 47 will be giving away flashlights and signing up new members. B.I.K.E. will be there to promote their efforts to get a BMX park in Fortuna.

During transition and the end of the Fireworks show the Babe Ruth snack shack will be open selling drinks, chips, candy, and other snacks to raise money for little league.

Free parking is available off Rohnerville Road, just past Newburg Park in the Mora field. The main parking lot to Newburg Park will be closed off this year for safety.

This is a family-friendly event and so it is asked that you do not bring pets or alcohol.

Donations can be made to F.F.F. and mailed to P.O. Box 491, Fortuna, CA 95540. For more information or volunteer opportunities email or call 725-9261.

photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon

Hundreds come out to enjoy the annual Fortuna Fireworks Festival put on by local Fortuna businesses and community members.