Licking County News

Pataskala Recreation Association

Local group to donate money for fireworks


Pataskala's two Lions Clubs International chapters can start raising money for a second annual fireworks display in July 2015 because the Pataskala Recreation Association will pay for this year's July 4 fireworks.

Andy Walther, one of the founding members of the PRA, announced May 20 at the Pataskala Area Chamber of Commerce meeting the PRA will donate the $7,500 needed to bring the city's fireworks celebration back.

Mayor Mike Compton said it has been at least seven years since the city had its own fireworks display.

Compton had announced in March that the Pataskala Lions Club and the Summit Station Lions Club were beginning to raise money for a fireworks show.

Walther said the PRA would donate revenue from the concession stands in Pataskala Municipal Park and Thomas J. Evans Foundation Park. The nonprofit group started operating concession stands in the fall of 2013, after the local LaSertoma International club asked for help.

Walther said the PRA board considered using concession revenue to develop playing fields, but the board decided to donate funds to the city because bringing the fireworks display back to Pataskala is important.

"We thought we (PRA) would pay for the first year and the Lions clubs can take what they've already collected and put that toward 2015," he said.

Walther said if the concessions don't raise $7,500, he and his wife, Ann, will donate the rest of the money.

He said he and Ann believe the city has lost some of its traditions and they want Pataskala to be have a sense of community.

Compton said the donation would pay for a 20- to 30-minute fireworks display in Foundation Park, police security, insurance coverage and cards advertising the event.

He said local groups could serve food and people would be invited to the park, where they could eat and relax before watching the fireworks.

Compton said it would not be a large celebration and would not include a parade and entertainment in the first year.