Foundation brings back fireworks
When the Foundation for Bordentown Traditions took on the task last year of raising enough money to bring back Bordentown’s annual Independence Day fireworks, the group knew it had set a lofty goal.
So when the nonprofit organization announced in May that the beloved community event would return, the excitement was palpable.
“We’re very excited that it’s coming back as soon as it is,” said Chris Nunn, the founder of the foundation. He said when they began raising money a year ago, they weren’t sure the group could reach its goal in just one year.
The foundation is organizing the day, which is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. July 5 at Joe Lawrence Recreational Facility in Bordentown Township. The event is set to feature live music from the Blind Lemmon Band, a 50/50 raffle, and a kids’ area sponsored by Bordentown Home for Funerals, which includes an inflatable moonbounce, obstacle course and slide. Local food vendors are set to provide refreshments. The main event will begin at dusk, with fireworks provided by Vineland-based company Pyrotecnico.
Bordentown Township mayor Jim Cann said he had been thrilled to hear about the return of the fireworks, recalling how he used to take his children to the event when they were young. Cann said the fireworks have been missed ever since the township cut them from the budget in 2007.
Bordentown City deputy mayor James Lynch also spoke of how the loss of the fireworks show had left a void in the community.
“I’ve heard a lot of comments that they (residents) really wish they would come back,” he said.
Up until the fireworks were canceled, they had been an all-day celebration for the small community. Nunn, now a resident of nearby Burlington, had grown up in Bordentown, and had attended the event annually.
When the foundation approached then-mayor Lynch last year about its plan to restore the fireworks, Lynch was eager to support their efforts, he said.
“I just can’t compliment enough not only them but any volunteers and groups that want to bring back events that the city or township has had in the past,” Lynch said.
One of the foundation’s first fundraising events was the “Street of Dreams” Car Show in June 2012, an event proposed by Lynch and the city, which raised money for the fireworks and the Jasper T. Daniels Summer Youth Program.
The city and township each agreed to donate $5,000 to the fireworks fund, and Cann said the township assisted the foundation in obtaining the necessary permits for hosting the event, and will also provide a police presence that night.
“We’ve tried to be as involved as much as we can,” Cann said. “We want the event to be successful.”
Other foundation fundraisers throughout the year included the establishment of the inaugural Turkey Trot 5K, Trenton Thunder nights, and partnering with Public Works for its annual hayride event. The foundation also raised money through sponsorships and donations. The lead sponsor is Roma Bank and Investors Bank.
The reestablishment of the fireworks in Bordentown this year proved to be fortunate timing in more ways than one.
The nearby Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst had also put on a noteworthy fireworks display every year, but this year was forced to stop the tradition due to the federal government sequester, Cann and Lynch both said.
The event is set to be held July 5 beginning at 4:30 p.m. at Joe Lawrence Recreational Facility at Veterans Memorial Park, located on Ward Avenue in Bordentown Township. A raindate is set for July 7. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.