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Big fireworks planned for July 1


The 2016 fireworks off Grand Coulee Dam. - file photo

The fireworks over Grand Coulee Dam will occur this year on Saturday, July 1, officials said last week.

The traditional Festival of America, the July 4 celebration, will be June 30 – July 1 this year, according to the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce, sponsor of the event.

"Our board labored over this for a long time and reasoned that because July 4 split the work week, members thought this was the best solution," chamber Executive Director Peggy Nevsimal stated.

The Independence Day holiday falls on Tuesday this year, presenting a problem for the group putting on the festival, which even in ideal years can lose money but is intended to bring in tourists and fill motels and campgrounds.

Other than donations, the only income the event generates for the chamber comes from vendors who pay for space in the park below the dam and any other activities that can be organized, such as a beer tent.

"We called around and almost everyone is having their celebrations like we are doing," Nevsimal said, describing the plans other communities have made.

Already, the chamber has over 30 vendor booths scheduled for the annual festival.

Fireworks are being handled by Rocketman Pyro, out of Spokane, their second time putting on the show.

The fireworks show, costing about $10,000, is financed through hotel/motel tax funds, and corporate donations.

Last year's fireworks show lasted just over 35 minutes and is expected to be about the same this year.

It typically follows the Laser Light Show, which begins at 9:30.

"We have advertised the fireworks date change in our bigger markets and have tried to let people know," Nevsimal said. "And the word is out on the change at the Visitor Center," Nevsimal added.

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