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By Sterling McGinn

In an effort to bring July Fourth fireworks back to Newberry, local resident Josiah Sharrett is attempting to raise funds for a 2021 fireworks display. “I just want to give something back  to the community,” stated Sharrett. “We haven’t had a fireworks display in at least 20 years.”

Last year, Sharrett purchased $2,000 worth of fireworks in a grass roots effort to celebrate the 4th. His display took place at Schubach Farms, located on south M-123.

“I started two years ago with small ones for just the family,” explained Sharrett. “Last year with everyone stuck inside because of COVID, I wanted to do something bigger and better, so more people could see it.”

Sharrett is hoping to make this year’s event even bigger, but is looking for some assistance. His goal for the 2021 show is to raise $4,000. A total of $3,000 would go towards purchasing fireworks, and $1,000 for building proper and safe loading/launching platforms.

He will be distributing firework-shaped donation cans, along with flyers to local stores and gas stations.

A fireworks account was also opened at  First National Bank in Newberry for anyone who is interested in contributing to the cause. “They can also go to the Luce County LINK and donate there,” he said.

Sharrett is planning to meet with the Luce County Fair Board to get permission to hold the display at the fair grounds. Having the show at the fairgrounds this year would allow for more parking and people to social distance.

To inform and update residents on the Newberry fireworks project, Sharrett created a Facebook page called Newberry 4th of July Fireworks.

“I want to continue doing this every single year,” he explained. “I want to bring fireworks back to Newberry—we used to do it—and the community loved it.”