Dan Fowler spent 37 years fighting fires in Washington Court House, where he served as fire chief at the local fire department. He’ll be spending Saturday raising funds to light some fires of his own.
Fowler is chair of Fayette Fire in the Sky, which puts on the annual July 3 fireworks show. This 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization is about $5,000 short of its fundraising goal, according to Fowler. He hopes to raise money Saturday during the final drive-up donation day at the Washington Fire Department and during the Toast to Summer.
Fowler has been involved with Fire in the Sky since it started in 2001. He said his favorite thing about working with fireworks is “you get to blow stuff up and everybody goes away with a smile on their face.”
Fowler estimates that the show puts smiles on the faces of between 15,000 and 20,000 people each year. “For a county that’s as small as Fayette, we’re probably one of the largest shows around,” he said.
The Fire in the Sky show is put on entirely by volunteer members of the group.
“We do everything, we don’t hire anything out,” said Fowler. He said the show is important because “you’re celebrating the country and the celebration has got to start at the local level.”
The Fire in the Sky show will begin at 10 p.m. on July 3, although Fowler said spectators often start claiming their spots and setting up as early as 5 p.m. The show is choreographed to a soundtrack that will be played on WVNU 97.5.
The July 3 show isn’t the only show Fire in the Sky puts on. In fact, they just provided a fireworks display, in conjunction with Rozzi fireworks, at Kamp Dovetail this week. Fowler said Kamp Dovetail is a five-day camp for disabled children held at Rocky Fork Lake near Hillsboro. Fire in the Sky and Rozzi Fireworks put on the show at no cost to the camp.
Members of the community who would like to support Fire in the Sky can make donations during the final drive-up donation day, which will be held on Saturday at the Washington Fire Department from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Donations of all amounts are welcome and t-shirts will be available in exchange for $5 donations. Donations will also be accepted during the Toast to Summer, where Fayette Fire in the Sky will put on a fireworks show. The Toast will be held on Saturday at the Fayette County Airport from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Reach Megan Neary at 614-440-9124