Fort Dodge will have fireworks show

Fort Dodge will get its Independence Day fireworks after all.

An anonymous donor came forward Saturday morning, said Mayor Matt Bemrich, and offered the money needed to pay for this year’s fireworks show.

The fireworks will be shot off at dusk on July 3, Bemrich said. As in past years, they will be shot off from near the river, and people can watch from the city square.

The Messenger reported on Saturday that the $13,000 to $14,000 needed to put on a show could not be raised this year. After they found out about the donation, Bemrich said, the city was busy organizing the fireworks and equipment and coordinating police and barricades for the event, fire safety and public works.

“It was very exciting,” said Joe Gilbert, the Fort Dodge businessman who has led the effort to collect the money since 2006. “It was challenging though. It’s a little tough to set up a fireworks display, get crew available and the fireworks shipped here and all ready to go by that time.”

“It’s a wonderful thing, and the city’s going to help pull some extra weight to make sure we get it all done.”

Fort Dodge’s fireworks have traditionally been held on July 3, he said, so that people can travel on the fourth and attend other area towns’ celebrations.

Now, Gilbert said, he and the city are trying to get a committee together to help with fundraising for next year.

This year, “Joe did most of that himself,” Bemrich said. “That’s a lot of work for one person.”