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Communities find funds for fireworks displays

Donations from summer residents have helped raise more than $20,000 for the Harbor Springs Chamber Foundation.

EMMET COUNTY, Mi. (WPBN/WGTU) -- At the center of any great Independence Day celebration is its fireworks display.

Even though fireworks are enjoyed for their colorful explosions, many community groups around northern Michigan are double checking their price tags and making sure they have enough cash to pay for them.

City governments very rarely budget for fireworks displays, leaving it up to various community groups to raise enough funds.

In Petoskey, the Starts And Stripes Committee is still working to make up the final $5,000 needed to reach their ultimate goal of $20,000.

"It can be a bit of a drag to do this every year," said Petoskey Stars And Stripes Committee Jessica McGeorge. "We wish that all the fireworks fundraising would come in well before the 4th of July but every year we kind of do this little ask for the last bump. It gets to be a scramble."

The community fundraising groups rely entirely on donations from fellow residents and local businesses.

As a member of the Boyne City 4th of July Committee, Ann Parks came up with a clever way to get businesses to donate more.

She incentivizes them to contribute by giving more prominent spots in the Independence Day parade in return for the fireworks funds.

"They are positioned in the very front of the parade after our military goes first," said Parks. "It is an involvement that lets the community know that they are giving back."

In Harbor Springs, donations from summer residents have been crucial in helping raise more than $20,000 for the Harbor Springs Chamber Foundation.

"We've got some key donors that come back annually with some good sized contributions," Harbor Springs Chamber Foundation Daniel DeWind. "But we also get them from everybody. Every dollar and every dime counts."

The City of Cheboygan is one of the few places where the local government sets money aside for their July 4th celebration.

This year they have budgeted $7,000 for their fireworks display.

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