The astronomical cost of imported fireworks almost put a crimp in this year’s pyrotechnics for the Fourth of July in both Port Clinton and Oak Harbor, but citizens in both towns wouldn’t be denied their annual extravaganzas.
With fund-raising efforts that ranged from raising a Mile of Dollars to a raffle that gave Port Clinton Mayor Mike Snider a shaved noggin for helping to save the day for the Lake Erie town. Oak Harbor’s Lions Club took to selling popular sausage and steak sandwiches in a local parking lot for a few weekends, and holding a Fireworks Reverse Raffle to cover a $5,000 shortfall in the village’s fireworks fund.
Oak Harbor’s annual fireworks show is rather unique in that it is held the the night before the Fourth of July. Because the village gets the jump on all the other fireworks shows around Ottawa County, the July 3 show on the downtown banks of the Portage River draws a crowd of locals and out-of-towners for the bevy of food vendors, entertainment, Royal Duck Races and the always popular Beer Tent.
Putting Port Clinton’s Fundraising for Fireworks over the top this week was a $6,600 donation by Baumann’s Auto Center in Port Clinton, where General Manager Chuck Miller called on the company’s community spirit to make up the shortfall.
The big chunk of change also qualified Miller to take an electric razor to Mayor Snider’s relatively modest head of hair, shaving it off before the cameras in the dealership’s showroom. The big check pushed the Fireworks Fund for the Red, White & Zoom! fireworks show to an impressive $13,471, giving the city a surplus!
Top prizes in the big fireworks raffle are a dinner for four at a Port Clinton restaurant of the winner’s choice, with Mayor Snider as the celebrity waiter; and VIP seating for up to eight people at the Port Clinton Fourth of July Gala Fireworks Show at Waterworks Park.