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Our View: Let the fireworks soar after year off

As we predicted at the end of 2020, this year we’ll celebrate the Fourth of July as a normal event with a parade, sporting activities, and fireworks.

Well, almost normal. Uncertainty of the pandemic’s effects by midsummer have affected planning for the annual event, and lingering pandemic restrictions have limited the group gathering size and scope. Unfortunately, another side effect is the economic fallout from the pandemic has made it difficult to raise enough money for the fireworks display.

There will still be the parade down Cloquet Avenue at 11 a.m., preceded by a mile-long run down the parade route, and the bigger Sawdust 5K around Pinehurst Park earlier in the morning. There’s a huge car show on Dunlap Island, and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament at Pinehurst Park. And even though the daylong festivities at Veterans Park have been scuttled (so many youngsters attend, and those under 12 aren’t vaccinated yet), the fireworks display will go on as usual around dusk.

There’s a chance the fireworks display may be nominal, rather than the robust display we’ve become accustomed to. According to event coordinator Alyson Leno, local businesses would typically cover 90 percent of the estimated $13,000 cost; but this year several of the major donors have scaled back on contributions, and the committee is looking to make up the difference or they may have to pare down the display.

We’d like to encourage citizens — and organizations and local businesses — to make a donation to the fireworks display fund if they are able to afford it. We understand that many people have suffered financially during this past year or so, but we feel that a robust fireworks display will help lift the spirits of our entire community as we emerge from a trying time. Maybe those big sponsors need a break and many smaller donations can fill the gap this year.

If you’re able, please send your donation to Cloquet July Fourth/Cloquet Chamber of Commerce, 225 Sunnyside Drive, Cloquet MN 55720. Or drop it off at the Pine Knot News office in the West End when you pop in to see the “Art Is For the Birds” exhibit. We’ll make sure it gets to the right place.

We’ll see you on the Fourth.