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Fireworks in Jeopardy?
Many Bozemanites assume the 4th of July fireworks show is put on by the City of Bozeman. In actuality, the celebration of our Nation’s birthday here in Bozeman is organized in its entirety by the Gallatin Empire Lion’s Club and paid for by local sponsors. This year, the Gallatin Empire Lion’s Club (GELC) needs more help from local businesses and individuals.
If enough sponsors can be found, this year could be a great show. Alter Ego will be performing live at the Fairgrounds before the event. A concession stand will have beer, burgers, and hot dogs available for sale. And of course, the fireworks show will be spectacular. The event is fun for all age groups, and families with children are always welcome. Put a blanket down on the grass or grab a seat on the bleachers to be closer to the band. Patriotic music will accompany the fireworks on XL Country.
Putting on an event like the Festival of the Fourth is no easy task. The Festival includes one of the best fireworks shows in the state as well as a live concert, and the event is now entirely free to the public. In many years past, buttons were sold to help pay for the event. In order to gain access to the concert and fireworks show, a button was required for entrance. Now, to make it accessible to every Bozeman resident and visitor, it’s entirely free; free parking, free seating, and a free live concert. But the costs associated with the festival are close to $25,000, even after the GELC has tried to make cuts to reduce the costs.
When the economy was roaring and sponsorships for the event were plentiful, the GELC was often able to raise enough funds to pay for the event as well as help fund their local work here in Bozeman. Some of GELC’s projects include: Sight & Hearing Foundation, Hyalite Youth Camp, 5th & 6th Grade Basketball League, 5th & 6th Grade Football League, High School LEOs club, US Flag for First Graders, Two High School Scholarships focused on students who serve their community, 7th & 8th Grade Track Meet, New Restrooms at Christie Fields, Christmas Wish Program and the Festival of the Fourth Fireworks Show.
As all charities, non-profits, and community events have, the GELC has felt the squeeze of the economy on its fundraising efforts to pay for the Festival of the Fourth. They need more sponsorships from local business and individuals that want to support their community and gain some local name recognition. Without the help of local contributors, the Festival of the Fourth is in danger of ceasing to exist.
Sponsorships come in all shapes and sizes. Small or large, any financial help is greatly appreciated. If your business is interested in becoming a sponsor, call to learn about the radio, television, and newspaper advertising that we have lined up. If you would like to show support for your community by sponsoring the Festival of the Fourth, please contact Lion Bob at 585-9864, Lion Scott at 600-4387, or mail your contribution payable to: Gallatin Empire Lion’s Club. PO Box 504, Bozeman MT 59771.
The Gallatin Empire Lions Club hopes that local sponsors will step up to the plate to insure that Bozeman residents are able to enjoy the Festival of the Fourth for years to come.
Tim Ford is a Realtor® with Vellinga Real Estate, and active member of the Gallatin Empire Lion’s Club. He can be reached by phone at 406-209-1214, email at firstname.lastname@example.org.