Carol Moore, the incoming Newnan Rotary Club President, is the one leading the club in the event planning for this year.
One of the most crucial steps for the club is booking the fireworks display company a year in advance. Because of the popularity of fireworks on July 4, the club must book a company early to ensure that there will be fireworks for the extravaganza, according to Moore. After all, without this first step, there would be no event.
Vendors are also secured as early as a year out because they get booked just as quickly.
The Rotary Club tries to secure its sponsors as early as six to eight months before the event so that there is enough funding, according to Moore.
“We could not do this event without the city of Newnan, Coweta County and the Coweta School System as they are our major donors,” said Moore. “We rely heavily on sponsorships to produce this event as it costs around $30,000 annually.”
According to Ginger Queener, Rotary fireworks committee member, a fireworks display can cost up to $1,000 a minute, which contributes to a lot of the cost.
In addition, the club must secure special permits from the city for permission to put on the event and obtain insurance certificates from all parties.
Three months before the celebration is when the Rotary club members come together to create a budget and book entertainment. This year’s entertainment will be the Marine Corps League Color Guard, Crossroads Rebellion Band and the Men of Cornerstone Quartet.
In May, the club plans the concessions menu and pricing. This year the menu will include hamburgers, hot dogs, candy and drinks. The club also plans for children’s activities at this time, such as face painting and inflatables according to Moore.
Although port-a-potties are often taken for granted, they are also an important aspect of the event. Making sure that bathrooms are accessible for everyone is a part of the planning for the club. Planning for handicap accessible restrooms is also a priority.
June is the month of planning focused on safety. Moore said that the club coordinates safety and security measures with the Newnan Fire and Police Departments and Coweta Fire Rescue, which provides local emergency medical services. This is also when volunteers are solicited for each area: parking, security, weather, concession prep work and sales and entertainment.
The week of July 4 is when the magic starts to come together. At the beginning of the week, details are finalized with vendors. On July 3, the port-a-potties arrive, vendors set up and sounds, staging, and lights are ready to go.
Volunteers get up early on the day of the event to ensure everything goes according to plan especially with concessions and last-minute details. Throughout the months of planning that goes into the show, there is a lot of volunteer work being done.
“The total estimated number of volunteer hours to produce the event is 500,” said Moore.
Moore and the club are happy to plan the event and strive for it to be the best show possible.
“In most cities, you have paid staff who organize an event of this size, but our all-volunteer club is humbled and honored to have the job to host and coordinate such a wonderful community event,” said Queener. “As an all-volunteer service organization, with the incoming president leading the club in this endeavor, it’s a responsibility we do not take lightly.”
The fireworks will be at Newnan High School’s Pope Field and the gates and concessions will open at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free.