Belle Center is preparing for their Independence Day Celebration.
On Tuesday, a fourteen-man crew began setting up the mortar tubes that will be used to launch the fireworks. The fireworks will be delivered on Wednesday. Then the process of setting up the fireworks spectacular truly gets underway. The crew jokingly calls the display "Red, White, and Belle Center."
Licensed Exhibitor Greg Fitzpatrick reports that this year’s show will feature an 1,800-shot show and a 2,000-shot grand finale. The show is expected to last around 35 minutes.
(Pictured above and below: The crew work to put fireworks into mortar tubes during past years.)
The entire day of events costs $20,000, including $17,500 for the fireworks. Rick Moore organized the events that will take place during the celebration.
The event is funded entirely by donated funds. Fitzpatrick says preparations for next year’s show begins July 5th and is a year-round effort. Fitzpatrick continued by saying, “If everyone that came would just donate a little bit, it would make our effort much easier and probably more fruitful.”
Fitzpatrick and Moore started setting off fireworks for the village in 1985. They used to be able to fit all the fireworks for the show into the trunk of a car and now it requires a U-Haul truck.
Fitzpatrick speaks about the fireworks.
Events start at 7 am with a pancake breakfast at the Richland Township Fire Station. The breakfast ends at 11.
The parade will begin at noon. Grand Marshals for the parade are Greg Fitzpatrick and Rick Moore. Both men have been significant to continuation of the celebration over the years.
A volleyball tournament will take place from 10 am to 2 pm.
Live entertainment at the shelter house will include Sandy Evans (2 pm), Tri-Jesus (3 pm), Jeremy Liles (4 pm), Jeff Newland (5 pm), and “Belle Center has Talent” between acts.
Other events include cornhole and a kids’ tractor pull starting at 2 pm. Registration for these events is an hour prior.
WAR wrestling-Belle Center Brawl #3 will begin at 6 pm at the Memorial building.
At 7:30pm in the shelter house Dance Fuzion will perform.
Elvis will make an appearance from 8 to 10 pm.
At dusk, the fireworks will begin.
Many different food items will be available from vendors, lawn chairs are recommended. Golf carts are not permitted in Richland Township Park.
Fitzpatrick gives a rundown of the day’s events.
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Watch the crew set out the mortar tubes.