MEDWAY, Maine — Plans made by a group of volunteers to continue the town’s tradition of having mid-August fireworks might collapse soon from a lack of funds, town Administrative Assistant Kathy Lee said Thursday.
“They want to raise $3,000, but they are not close,” Lee said. “They are thinking about canceling them.”
Barry Davis, one of the organizers and an operator of Two Rivers Canoe & Tackle of Medway, said the fireworks plans were up in the air as of Thursday, but he and other organizers probably would have to make a decision shortly.
“We have raised only about $1,000,” Davis said.
The organizers hope that a street dance on Saturday at Peggy’s Bar & Grill, 2149 Medway Road, will raise enough money to put them over the top, Lee said. Hosted by WBZN 107.3 FM, the adults-only event will raise money by charging $15 per couple and $8 per individual.
The Medway Fire Department also will do a toll fundraiser on Medway Road, which also is known as Route 157, on Saturday, Lee said.
The fireworks show is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. Aug. 13, with viewers encouraged to gather at or near the Roy Powers Recreation Area at Route 157 and the Penobscot River.
The show would be part of or come immediately after the Wooden Arts Canoe Festival, a daylong event set for Aug. 13 that usually draws about 1,000 people. Now in its 15th year, the free event highlights the region’s outdoor and canoe-making heritage.
Ranging in price from $450 to almost $5,000, handmade canoes at the festival have have featured artistic woodworking, paint and finish.
The event also usually features canoe and other watercraft races on the river, music, a pig roast and art displays.
Anyone interested in donating to the fireworks show should call Davis at 746-8181 or mail contributions to him at P.O. Box 305, Medway 04460, he said.
Organizers have been raising money selling raffle tickets and have several prizes donated by local businesses, though Davis said he suspects that people who like fireworks shows would be more hurt than businesses if a show doesn’t occur.
“It will mean more to the people who like to watch fireworks, which they always seem to,” Davis said.
The town usually pays for the fireworks show, but “no one thought of it during the town meeting,” Davis said, “and money is tight.”
Medway is a small town east of East Millinocket and Millinocket near Exit 244 on Interstate 95. For information about the festival, visit katahdinmaine.com or call 723-4443.