Harrisburg Veteran Attempts to Save City Fireworks Display

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By Matthew Searcy

HARRISBURG -- A long-time Independence day tradition in Harrisburg could be coming to an end. City leaders say they don't have enough money to pay for this year's fireworks display. Now one resident is taking matters into his own hands.  

Local veteran John Okerson says the 4th of July fireworks display is an annual tradition that's worth fighting for.   
 
"Fourth of July means a lot to me," he says. "I grew up a military child; I remember going to the military base and watching the fireworks."
 
The display usually costs several thousands dollars, money that city officials say they don't have. But it's money Okerson is now trying to raise.  
 
"There are people who can't drive, they can't go somewhere else," said Okerson. "Why not have it here? Why can't we bring it to them?"
 
He's been in talks with a local fireworks group to put on the show. 
 
"The pyrotechnics company has a display they want to do. It's going to end in red, white, and blue," explains Okerson. "It looks great." 
 
He is asking citizens and area businesses for donations. So far, he's raised more than $3,000, but more funding is needed.  
 
"The pyrotechnics company needs a contract by Monday night," he says. "Tomorrow night, we need a contract, and we owe them $9,000." 
 
It was too late to book a fireworks display for the 4th. Iif the money is raised, the display will take place on Saturday, July 5th.  
 
If you would like to donate, you can go on Facebook and search "Harrisburg Independence Day Celebration" to find out more.  
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