The ownership has changed hands, but the show will go on.
Last week, the City of Ottawa announced online that they will be hosting a fireworks display to celebrate Independence Day 2018 at dusk July 1 in Forest Park, 320 N. Locust St., Ottawa. Richard U. Nienstedt, city manager, made the announcement in a video.
“The City has engaged Steve Donahoo, a very experienced shooter that carries all the necessary insurance,” city officials said.
In the past, the fireworks display has been on the evening of July 4th, but circumstances dictate the show take place July 1st this year, according to the city.
The presence of a 2018 display had been in doubt. City officials explained the annual fireworks display previously was staged by private individuals.
As a government entity, the City of Ottawa has not been the owner or operator of the fireworks display in any capacity,” according to the city officials. Traditionally the city contributed a small portion of funds each year for the display and the majority of money needed was raised by private parties, officials said.
The original owner/operator of the fireworks display was the Jaycees.
“[They] passed the operation on to a private party who was then in charge of raising money for the display, carrying insurance for the operation and finally the firework display itself,” according to the city. “Two years ago, it was publicly announced that 2017 would be this individual’s last year operating the fireworks display. We are thankful for the service of the Jaycees organization and everyone else who has participated in operating the fireworks display all these years.”
The city solicited groups and individuals interested in taking over the operation until finding Donahoo.