APPLETON (NBC 26) — The Appleton Area Jaycees, a volunteer organization, have announced that they will no longer be hosting the annual Festival Foods Fireworks Show. After nearly 90 years of spearheading the event, the Jaycees have cited declining volunteer participation as the primary reason for their decision.
“We're not as strong of a volunteer organization as we used to be, so us getting bodies to just come out and help out has just been tougher and tougher year after year,” said Chris Solin, an Appleton Area Jaycee.
The Festival Foods Fireworks Show has become an integral part of the Appleton 4th of July celebration, and the community has come to anticipate the event. For many, like nine-year-old Arabella, the fireworks have created lasting memories.
"Mostly, I'm excited for the fireworks because there's just something about them. They're really nice, and I love them," said Arabella.
However, the success of the Festival Foods Fireworks Show has relied not only on the fireworks but also on the Jaycees. From coordinating the fireworks display to overseeing vendor sales and alcohol service, the Jaycees have been instrumental in making the event a success year after year.
As the Jaycees step back from their hosting responsibilities, they expressed a sense of nostalgia for the fireworks tradition they helped foster. However, they remain hopeful for a return to the Festival Foods Fireworks Show, just in a different capacity.