(02/28/13) - It's never too early to start thinking about summer - even if Mid-Michigan is covered in a layer of snow and slush.
"Dead of winter, start thinking fireworks and stuff, and hopefully it will warm everybody up inside a bit," said Doug Clark, Bay City Fireworks Festival president.
The Bay City Fireworks Festival kicks off its fundraising season Saturday and Sunday with a telethon and auction, featuring everything from autographed memorabilia, to mattresses, TV's and gift certificates.
"We're going to be down at Bart's, 804 East Midland Street. We welcome people to come on down, view a live production, and we'll have great entertainment," Clark said.
The telethon will be broadcast and streamed online by Bay3 TV. Clark hopes to bring in around $25,000.
"It puts a little money in bank for us so that we can pay some of our expenses leading up to the festival. As you can imagine, there are a ton. We usually spend $300,000 to put this event on," he said.
This year's fireworks festival runs July 4, 5 and 6, and organizers know they'll have a hard time topping last year's 50th anniversary finale. It was arguably the largest fireworks show the state of Michigan has ever seen.
"Of course, it's not going to be quite as big, but it's going to be an amazing show. Last year, we shot off 50,000 shots in 50 minutes. This year, we're going to be shooting off close to 900 shells per minute. So it's going to be really close to the same magnitude of show, and I think people are going to be amazed," Clark said.
As the festival turns the page and begins it's next 50 years, Clark believes the telethon and continued community support will help it to thrive for years to come.
"It's a staple of the community, people look forward to it every year, and people plan their family vacations around this and come to Bay City. I really don't see it ever stopping."
If you'd like to watch the telethon online, click HERE.
If you'd like to make a bid or donate, click HERE.
ABC12 Main Station