American Legion Riders make plans for annual fireworks show at Pratt lake

Fran Brownell
Special to the Tribune
Pyrotechnics will be on display again this year at the Pratt County Veterans Memorial Lake east of Pratt for the Fourth of July holiday.

American Legion Riders will host their ninth Independence Day Fireworks Celebration at Pratt County Veterans Memorial Lake on Saturday, July 4, funded by donations.

The display will begin about 9:45 p.m. and should last about 35 to 45 minutes, said Rick Wittig, road captain for the Riders.

“We’re expecting a huge crowd,” said Wittig. “People come from all around.”

Pratt volunteer firefighters will also be on scene to provide safety and security, according to George Stevens, who is affiliated with both American Legion Post 86 and the Pratt City Fire Department.

“This year we have the largest amount of fireworks, thanks to the Pratt Area Chamber of Commerce, Pratt County and donations from families coming to watch the fireworks show last year,” Stevens said.

“Nine years ago we started with $6,000 to spend,” Wittig said.“ This year we had $10,000.”

Fireworks for the display are purchased from Rainbow Fireworks, Inman, KS.

“We get the best”, Wittig said.

The display will including rockets, fireballs and sky showers, according to Wittig.

Other members of the Legion Riders who are assisting with the event are Legion Riders Director Benny Hayes and members Mike and Barb Schmidt, Lance Calloway, Marie Hayes, Jay Wirick, and Mark Graber, who is also a volunteer firefighter.

Other volunteer firefighters assisting will be Todd Hoffman, Greg Holmes, Mac Calloway, Jason Leslie, Richard Rawson, Doug Ray and Keith Ray.

Members of the Prat County Sheriff Department will also assist, Wittig said.

“It is illegal to shoot fireworks in the city limits of Pratt,” Stevens said.

“The lake is a good place for families to shoot their small fireworks and at dark watch the large fireworks show,” Stevens said.

Stevens said volunteers will ask for donation at the entrance to the lake.

“Please have your donation ready so the line can keep moving,” Stevens requested. “All proceeds will go toward next year’s fireworks.”

Mail-in donations from those who prefer to watch from home should be made payable to American Legion Post 86 Fireworks and sent to 601 East Third Street, Pratt.