Chatfield Western Days has a different spark at the end of the trail – high-flying and by a different pyro.
“The display this year is by J&M, and it starts at 9:15 p.m. on Sunday. It’s different than we had last year – for the 2014 fireworks finale, we had Lew’s out of South Dakota,” said Chatfield Western Days Committee member Steve Rowland, excited to see the explosive pyrotechnics set for the conclusion of the 2015 Western Days celebration on Sunday, Aug. 9.
The fireworks are launched from the hill just north of Matt Opat’s house out on County Road 2, the perfect place to send them skyward so that all of Chatfield can see.
“We’ve never had a bad display,” said Rowland. “This year, we’re actually using some bigger shells than last year, some fireworks that will be a lot higher than before. Anyplace in Mill Creek Park or City Park is a good place to see them…actually, anyplace in Chatfield is going to be a good spot – that’s one of the reasons we do them out there.”
The 30- to 45-minute show has no rain date with Rowland promising “it’s not going to rain…there’s no rain allowed” that evening to interrupt the show sponsored by the Chatfield Booster Club, the Chatfield Firefighters’ Activities Association and supported by the Chatfield Ambulance Service.
The Chatfield Fire Department assists in the pyrotechnics and helps pay for them, just like the Chatfield Booster Club. The Chatfield Ambulance Service is on hand, too, as it organizes and pays for the permits for the fireworks finale. Previously, the Chatfield Athletic Club had assisted with the cost of the show – it was split three ways – and this year, the firefighters and booster club are happy to continue the fireworks.
While speaking about the end of Western Days, Rowland couldn’t resist speaking about all that’s new and happening during Chatfield’s annual town celebration.
“Special regular events include the Wits’ End Theatre production of ‘Cinderella,’ the ‘Lost Highway’ and ‘Booker & Friends’ Support Our Troops performance, mutton busting in Mill Creek Park, Brad Boice as Elvis in City Park, the annual car, truck and antique motorcycle show, Friday night’s KROC Music on Wheels teen dance and dance contest,” he said. “Not new — but different — is that the 21st annual Western Days Stampede will be run on the Bluff Country Hiking Trail for the very first time, and the volleyball tournament will be on grass instead of sand. New in the park, there will be the inflatable bounce houses sponsored by the Chatfield junior class, as well as the National Guard’s climbing wall and obstacle course. Additionally, there’s the Bell for Eternity, on display at the Chatfield VFW after the parade – a 1910 bell came from a church in Pittsburg, and it tolls seven times at military ‘killed in action’ funerals, at veterans’ funerals and for first responders.
“And of course, there’s the fireworks finale. The fireworks are my favorite part of Western Days. I never miss them — they are displayed almost over the top of my home. When the fireworks are done, I can start catching up on sleep, which usually takes two to three days.”