As I child, I have some great memories growing up in Pocatello, many of which include the 4th of July. My parents were both in the Jaycee’s organization and at the time, they put together the big fireworks show each year. Selling fireworks from the Jaycee’s stand is how they bought and paid for the show. Working in that stand was a bit of a rite of passage for my brother, our friends and myself. I suppose you could call us volunteers in training, although we really didn’t realize it at the time. I mean one year we got to be on fire control and wore cool water tanks on our back to wet down any potential sparks that may have fallen to the ground. We felt like ghostbusters I have to admit, carrying around those awesome tanks. The fireworks were shot off of Red Hill at the time and I can remember several years of the hillside getting caught on fire and heard stories of mishaps on top as the volunteer Jaycees lit the mortars using flares. As you can imagine, it could be quite dangerous but those volunteers were committed to making sure the community had a great show and a celebration to be proud of every year.

Times have changed a bit from back then. The biggest show is now held up at the fairgrounds and those mortars are all lit remotely, perfectly timed to some amazing music. But what hasn’t changed is the foundation of what made the event a success then, but also today, it’s our volunteers. People in this community not only volunteer their time but also their resources in a way that should make us all very proud and grateful for what they do. As you celebrate this 4th of July, please pay special attention to those that make this celebration a reality. This event wouldn’t happen without that commitment and I want to personally thank those that gave their time and money to see this be a success. As a child, I didn’t think about what my parents were doing, or what we were doing to help make an event happen. We did it because it was fun and we enjoyed it. With that, I hope you all have a very safe and happy 4th of July. Again, please take a few moments to thank those that make this celebration and all the events we have in this great community outstanding!