Hudson puts a big bang into fireworks event

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published:

Hudson -- It's the Fourth of July -- a day off from work, a family picnic and fireworks.

This year the annual fireworks display, provided by Hudson-based American Fireworks, will be at dusk July 5 at Barlow Farm Park, 1931 Barlow Road. The rain date is July 6.

"It's a great opportunity to bring family and friends together for a great evening," said Bill Sedlacek, Hudson Community Foundation board member and chair of the fireworks committee.

Hudson Community Foundation took over the funding for the fireworks display in 2007 after the main sponsor withdrew support and the skies remained dark in 2006, the only year in more than 40 when fireworks failed to be part of the city's Independence Day celebration.

Parking is available at Jo-Ann Fabrics, 5555 Darrow Road, where a bus shuttle will take guests to the park, Sedlacek said. Parking also is available at Oak Grove Park with handicapped parking at Little Tikes, both on Barlow Road and accessed from Stow Road. Signs will be posted, and Terex Road will be closed to through traffic around 7 p.m.

The city provides services from the police, fire, emergency medical services and park departments for setting up and cleaning up for the event. Last year the cost to the city was $8,313, according to City Communications Manager Jody Roberts.

There are no rules against bringing backpacks or items to the event, but the city has increased security this year because of the bombing at the Boston Marathon, Roberts said. She would not disclose the security changes.

The fireworks display, attended annually by an estimated 30,000 people, has been funded by donations for the past seven years through the Hudson Community Foundation.

"Without the generous donations of our residents, the fireworks would not take place," Sedlacek said. "We want to thank residents who have donated in the past to maintain Hudson's Independence Day fireworks, as well as the city of Hudson for its generous operational support."

The foundation sent out letters in April to all prior donors -- about 300 people and 100 businesses -- and had an excellent response, Sedlacek said.

The Hudson Community Foundation raises money to cover the yearly expenses -- approximately $30,000. It also hopes to create a $700,000 endowment fund that will enable the fireworks to pay for itself for years to come, he said. The fireworks endowment fund has a little more than $250,000 in it currently.

Contributions from local businesses and individuals are "critical" to preserving the fireworks, Sedlacek said.

A mass mailing for contributions was sent to residents in early June, he added.

"Hudson has a history of fireworks since 1918 funded by private donations, and this is the way to preserve the future of the fireworks," Sedlacek said.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

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