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Fireworks to light up Clarks Hill sky on July 1

For more than a decade, the Raysville Fireworks Show has been a way for local folks to show their patriotism and celebrate America. This year's show begins 30 minutes after dark on Saturday, July 1, at the Amity Recreation Park.

The tradition began when several members of the Raysville Boat Club started shooting firecrackers, according to Jerry Williams, the club's president.

"Then when Desert Storm happened, we started doing the big shows, and it just escalated from there, and we've been doing it ever since," he said.

Like the explosion of the Roman candles, the show has blossomed, according to Mr. Williams. He said the first show cost approximately $75, and then later shows grew to $10,000. Also, Mr. Williams estimates the audience has grown from around 50 to more than 2,500. The size of the show depends on the number of sponsors, so Mr. Williams said "the last few years, we've had to drop back some."

"That's what it's all about is the contributors that we have. ... We just really want to thank the contributors, because without them, it would not be possible," he said.

Although the fireworks are shot from Amity, they can be seen from Raysville Marina, the Raysville and Thomson boat clubs, and from the lake by boat.

"The road (to the Marina) is always lined up with cars, and we have police out there to direct the traffic," said Carolyn Powers, who helps organize the show.

In addition to the police, Ms. Powers said the Lincolnton Fire Department is on hand to ensure the safety of the show. She said the show is put on by Craig Butler, who does many of the fireworks shows in the Central Savannah River Area.

Raysville Marina will have entertainment by local bands beginning around 5 p.m., according to Bill Brabbly, who works at the marina.

Anyone interested in donating to the show or becoming a sponsor, can mail a check to Raysville Fireworks Fund, P.O. Box 83, Thomson, Ga. 30824, or call Mr. Williams at 706-595-1148.

Web posted on Thursday, June 29, 2006

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