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Keeping tradition alive
“This year, we’re hoping for good weather — and really thirsty patrons,” said Katie Robison, who heads the volunteer organizing committee.
In Minneapolis, organizers of Powderhorn Park’s event cut their budget almost in half this year by nixing fireworks, opting instead for a daytime celebration. It also helped them address safety concerns after last year’s event was marred by fights and spectators breaking through safety fences during the fireworks. The Minneapolis park police said it couldn’t adequately patrol the Powderhorn event as well as the much larger downtown riverfront show.
On Lake Minnetonka, five cities donate small amounts to help cover the holiday celebration costs, including $24,000 for fireworks. But the event, run by the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce, depends mostly on the community. The local Rotary Club raised $12,000 from a burger and bingo event. T-shirt sales and fees from a 5K and 10K run also help.
But the rest is up to volunteers like McGlasson, fundraising on foot around the lake to keep a 135-year-old cherished tradition alive.
“Some people don’t think about how it’s funded,” she said. “Somehow it’s overlooked that this costs money and it costs a lot.”
Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141