Perhaps just as famous as Bainbridge Island’s Fourth of July parade is its patriotic fireworks show that lights up the sky over Eagle Harbor each year.
A group of islanders are steadily working toward keeping up the tradition, but they need the community’s help. More specifically, financial help.
“Our display is put on by the community, for the community. We are proud to say that,” said Scott Isenman with Bainbridge Fireworks, the nonprofit that has organized the show for five years.
“We have no one major sponsor, but rather, our funds come from across the community,” he said.
The show comes with a $25,000 price tag. So far the nonprofit has raised $15,000 and is asking the community to help close the gap.
Collection jars have popped up around town at island shops and cafes such as Pegasus and the Madison Diner. Islanders can also donate directly through the organization’s website at www.bainbridgefireworks.org.
Accounts at Chase Bank and American West Bank have also been established for contributions.
Much of the work and equipment comes from volunteers and in-kind services, so the money goes to paying for the product itself.
Robert Nitz with Halo Fireworks performs the fiery display for the love of the craft. In fact, after a freak accident destroyed all the fireworks for Pouslbo and Bainbridge Island last year, Nitz stepped up and covered the cost of the lost fireworks out of his own pocket.
If all goes as planned, Eagle Harbor will once again see the sky set ablaze on July 4. Organizers plan to tow a fireworks barge by tugboat into the harbor and broadcast a patriotic soundtrack on an AM station for the show. It should prove to continue the island’s most spectacular tradition.
“I believe the fireworks display over the harbor has really become an iconic part of the island’s identity for the Fourth of July,” Isenman said.
“We get lots of words of encouragement and thanks in the days following the show, but the immediate gratification comes as the final echoes of the show end and then we hear the echoing of cheering and horns all over the harbor,” he said.