Q: Why doesn’t Manhattan have its own fireworks show?
A: Every Fourth of July, the Wamego fireworks show razzles and dazzles, and the Junction City Sundown Salute puts on a booming show. But as far as firework festivities in Manhattan, it’s been, well, more of a fizzle.
That’s not to say there are no fireworks in Manhattan. Plenty of private citizens have mini shows of their own, and the Manhattan Country Club plans on launching its own volley of artificial artillery on July 3.
However, there have been no big, citywide fireworks shows in Manhattan since 2013.
The annual Thunder Over Manhattan fireworks show in CiCo Park struggled with sponsorship in the years prior to its last show in 2013.
In 2007, Dara’s Fast Lane owners Jan and Chris Darrah sponsored the show when it faced cancellation after a longtime sponsor, the Westside Business Association, said it couldn’t come up with the money.
In 2009, GTM Sportswear and Briggs Auto Group joined as co-sponsors after another co-sponsor, Landmark National Bank, dropped out.
Darrah said the 2012 show might be the last one after GTM dropped its participation. In 2013, Scott Wempe, assistant golf professional at Colbert Hills, took over for the Darrahs as the main organizer.
Vivienne Uccello, city public information officer, said city officials surmise that it’s just gotten too expensive to put on shows.
“As far as we know, there hasn’t been (any city-sponsored shows), and the shows in Wamego and Junction are put on by private businesses, like the chambers of commerce,” she said. “With Wamego so close, I think most people just go there.”
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