Fireworks and community celebrations are a traditional part of July 4th celebrations. America’s 244th birthday celebration will probably take on a different look, however.
For three months, it has looked like traditional summer activities might have to be cancelled, thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. With some South-Central Pennsylvania counties going green this month, communities are taking a fresh look at summertime restrictions.
Shippensburg could put on a fireworks display to celebrate Independence Day, but Chambersburg probably will not.
But with the virus’s spread almost under control, at least for now, the Shippensburg Community Parks and Recreation Authority is thinking about summer’s biggest celebration; and the fireworks display that usually goes along with it.
SCPRA’s board has started raising money for that purpose, according to Tyler Fairchid.
Fireworks will cost $6,000, so Fairchild recently established a GoFundMe account. The fund immediately took off, with almost $500 raised within 9 hours of the its creation, and as of Saturday that has risen to almost $600.
Stepping up for a common cause
Local organizations stepped up to the plate also, bringing the fundraising effort to almost half of its goal. The Shippensburg Area Athletic Association pledged $1,000. Shippensburg Little League and Shippensburg VFW pledged $500 each.
Fogelsonger-Bricker Funeral Home also committed its support to the project.
“Our world has been turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Fairchild said in an open letter to the Shippensburg community posted on social media Friday. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel and normalcy is slowly coming back.”
Financing a community celebration
The Park and Rec board cancelled many events, programs, and fundraising efforts due to COVID-19, Fairchild pointed out.
“As Shippensburg moves forward and restrictions are lifted, SCPRA is hopeful to be able to provide the community with the annual 4th of July Firework Display,” he said.
SCPRA needs the community’s help to do that, given the curtailment of fundraising activities this spring.
Funding for the fireworks must be in place by June 26, giving the board three weeks to come up with the money.
“I have organized this gofundme because I believe our community is able to rally together to raise enough funds.,” Fairchild said. “Every donation counts and if you are unable to donate please share this for others to see.”
Those who don’t want to use GoFundMe can send donations to SCPRA, 677 Orrstown Rd, Shippensburg, 17257.
Fairchild can be reached at [email protected]