Fireworks burst over Ironton

Published 12:42 pm Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The third time proved more than a charm. It was a keeper as the riverbank was jammed with those checking out this Memorial Day weekend’s annual fireworks sponsored by the Friends of Ironton.

“We were packed at the river and then there were people who didn’t come to the riverbank and just parked and watched,” Jane Griffith, of the FOI, said.

This was the third year for the Friends to put on the May fireworks show, but the first for adding a music festival to the event.

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“That turned out really, really well,” she said.

The music started at the riverfront at 4 p.m. Sunday with the fireworks starting at 9:30 p.m. Putting on the light show was Hamburg Fireworks Display from Lancaster, that has been in business since 1972.

“The finale was awesome,” Griffith said. “It was the best I’ve ever seen.”

Next up for the Friends is the Great River Raffle on June 26 and 27 where a half-million dollars in prizes and money could be given away non-stop for seven hours. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased from any member of the FOI.

“We have a few more tickets to sell,” Griffith said. “We are really close to the 5,000. They want to see it go.”

Five thousand tickets must be sold for the event to break even. If 10,000 tickets are sold, then the fundraiser will hit its maximum goal and be able to contribute up to half a million dollars to the community, including the continued restoration of the Ro-Na Theater. About a month ago, Jon Ferguson of the FOI asked the county to help sell tickets. If the county threw its support for the raffle, it would receive $100,000 from the proceeds.

After the raffle, the Friends will host the Rally on the River from 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13 through Sunday, Aug. 16.