Fireworks will light up the sky here in Jennings thanks to the determination of a new organization spearheaded by local businessmen Trent Wisner and Kyle Layman.
The two are in the process of organizing the JC Small Business Coalition to fill in and fund various activities and needs here in Jennings, said Wisner. While the coalition was originally set to debut early 2021, the canceling of the annual fireworks at the North Vernon City Park threw the founders into action.
"I feel that we are in unprecedented times and everyone's lives have been affected one way or another due to Covid-19," said Wisner. "July Fourth is meant to celebrate our freedom and also to honor those both past and present that have fought to maintain our freedom. It is hard for me to not do my part to help us celebrate that freedom that so many have fought for. With all of the lock-downs I feel it is important -more now than ever - to remember we live in a free country."
As far as concerns about the coronavirus and social distancing, Wisner explained everything has been planned "to only include activities that would be able to maintain social distancing." For example, people can sit in their cars, space their seating at six feet apart; or watch from afar. In addition to parking at the fairgrounds, parking will be available at Sand Creek School. If you feel uncomfortable, you always have the option to stay home.
"The city had to cancel their fireworks due to Governor Holcomb's Back on Track plan that would only allow a gathering of 250 people on July 3. The 2020 Freedom Festival is being held on July Fourth which the restrictions of 250 people lifted. This event is per guidelines," he added.
The event committee of Wisner, Layman, Steve Gasper, Bryan Gresham and Doug Gresham has planned live music starting at 4 p.m. with the Keith Swinney Band playing from 4 to 5:30; the Lloyd Wood Show will entertain from 6 to 7:30 ; and the always popular Sounds of Summer will play from 8 to 10. The stage will be set up at the south end of the midway.
Fireworks will start at 10:15 with D&D Fireworks out of the Vevay area charged with the display costing $17,000.
Donations for the Freedom Festival may be given to the JC Small Business Coalition care of the Jennings County Community Foundation. Any proceeds from the event will be given to the JC School Corporation to purchase back-to-school supplies for local students.