Chamber of Commerce holds annual fireworks fundraiser

Published 10:54 pm Friday, June 2, 2017

By Tyler Julson

The Fourth of July fireworks fundraiser took place Friday. Dozens of volunteers took donations from passing motorists as they drove through downtown Albert Lea.

Volunteers consisted of board members and chamber ambassadors standing on the corners and medians at the intersection of Broadway Avenue and Main Street. Each volunteer held a bucket and sign asking for donations as people passed by.

The Albert Lea Chamber of Commerce has had the event every year for more than 25 years. This year the Chamber hopes to raise around $17,000 in order to pay for the fireworks show.

Albert Lea is unique in that its firework show is funded completely by donations from businesses and individuals within the community. 

Aside from other small money-making efforts throughout the year, the roadside fundraiser is the main source for all of the $17,000 needed to make the fireworks a possibility. However, donations are always accepted, buckets are placed at many local businesses around town and Marketplace Foods also has a donation program in place. 

Albert Lea Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Randy Kehr said it’s great the community is so involved in a project like the fireworks fundraiser.

“It’s so great to have the community behind us,” Kehr said. “This is a tradition, it’s been happening for many years. We’ve had big donations coming in all day long. Not only that, we’re so fortunate in that throughout the day we have little kids that bring their bags of pennies; it’s great to see kids involved.”

Kehr estimates that around 30,000 people come from all over the area every year to watch the Albert Lea fireworks show. He attributed the popularity of the fireworks to the beautiful and unique scenery that the show can be viewed in. With the fireworks being set off from the beach, spectators can watch from on the lake or on the hillside.

“We are really grateful,” Kehr said. “The community should be extremely proud of themselves for the effort they put forth in order to put on the fireworks. We just take the money — the community puts on the show.”

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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