Perry Chamber enters final push for fireworks drive

Allison Ullmann - Editor
The Perry Chamber is leading fundraising efforts to still carry on with the annual fireworks display. FILE PHOTO/THE PERRY CHIEF

While the Fourth of July activities have been canceled because of COVID-19, the annual fireworks show will still be held this year.

“It was important to the board to maintain that tradition and provide that activity for the community while we were canceling other things. A tough decision to make, but ultimately it’s for the community,” Perry Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lynsi Pasutti said.

A tough decision, she added, because the normal three to four month fireworks drive has turned into three weeks.

The chamber recently kicked off a virtual version of the Big Boom Bracket Battle to help meet the $12,500 goal set for the annual fireworks show.

“The Big Boom Bracket Battle is just a fun thing to do to encourage donations, kind of a vote with your dollar sort of thing,” Pasutti said.

Community members were matched head-to-head in the Explosive Eight. Residents voted with monetary donations to narrow the field down to the Firecracker 4. The remaining four individuals vying to have a pie thrown in their face are JP Hulgan vs Eric Vaughn and Jack Butler vs Eddie Diaz.

Whoever wins between those two pairs moves to the final showdown to see who will get a pie thrown in their face.

“We’ve been very thankful to those as a part of the Big Boom Bracket Battle,” Pasutti said. “Each one of them are recognizable community members and leaders that were all willing to get a pie in the face for the sake of the fireworks drive. A big thank you to them for participating in that fun competition.”

Votes can be cast in the form of monetary donations online as well as by mail to the Perry Chamber of Commerce (PO Box 472 with Memo: BBBB and Name of Nominee).

The “Big Boom Showdown” between the final duo will be announced on Friday, June 26. Pasutti said the winner will have a pie thrown in their face likely on Friday, July 3 at Fareway during the Grocery Bill Round-up.

The annual grocery round-ups will be held at Hy-Vee and Fareway from Monday, June 29 through Saturday, July 4. Customers will be asked to round up their bills to the nearest dollar or more at both stores.

“That’s a really good example of every little bit counts because literally pennies add up to thousands of dollars when you’re rounding up your grocery bill to the nearest dollar or more,” Pasutti said.

She added that they still have a ways to go to reach the $12,500 goal.

“We’re really calling on businesses and individuals and anyone who wants to support the fireworks, big or small, to help out,” she said.

Pasutti said every amount is appreciated as the chamber works to finish fundraising for the shortened fireworks drive.

“Every little bit counts, whether that’s $1, $5, $500. That’s what is going to make the difference for us this year,” Pasutti said.

She is looking forward to still having the fireworks show even as the Fourth of July parade and other activities in Pattee Park have been canceled because of COVID-19.

“It’s something to look forward to, some sort of normalcy during this time. Carrying on that tradition while we can’t do other things,” Pasutti said.

The fireworks will be shot off at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 4. Pasutti said community members are encouraged to practice social distancing between families and others while enjoying the fireworks.