TAYLOR COUNTY—For over 20 years the night sky has been illuminated with a dazzling display of colors in celebration of the Fourth of July, and the folks behind Taylor County Fireworks are hoping that this year is no different.
What started as a backyard fireworks display has turned into an event for the whole family, that can be seen for miles around. Started by Dr. William Nicholas back in the 1990’s, the display has been an annual event that residents look to help celebrate the independence of the nation.
For years, visitors gathered to watch the bright colors dance across the night sky, presented by Nicholas and his family.
After the passing of Nicholas, his stepson and daughter-in-law Mike and Melissa Garvin decided to carry out the annual tradition and took over the family business.
“Starting out in the fireworks presentation at a young age was customary in the Nicholas household,” said Melissa Garvin. “As soon as you are big enough, you are helping with the setup and then when you are old enough, you are up on the hill helping with firing.”
She said that it was the pleasure of the Garvin’s to carry on the family tradition. Both her and Mike are licensed pyrotechnicians in the state of West Virginia and take the safety of all involved seriously.
Since taking over the show in 2013, it has steadily grown over the years. Each year, Taylor County Fireworks strives to put on a bigger and better show, with the help of the community, of course.
“We at Taylor County Fireworks are grateful for the support of the Fourth of July fireworks display in the past,” said Garvin. “We are again asking for your help to make this display possible for the community.”
She revealed that due to the Coronavirus pandemic, their regular fundraising efforts were put on hold, but now that they have received confirmation from their supplier that the fireworks will be available for this year’s event, they are seeking donations from the community once more.
“We are asking local businesses and citizens for donations of any amount toward the cost of producing the show,” Garvin noted. “Any level of donation would be appreciated and moves us toward our goal of being able to do a display this year.”
The cost of each firework ranges between $3 and $30, which can quickly add up. Last year, the Garvin’s learned that their supplier would not consider selling a show for less than $5,000. According to Garvin, that amount covers the cost of permits, HAZMAT transportation, insurance and the shells themselves.
Taylor County Fireworks, as they have in year’s past, will be donating their time, training and equipment to make the display possible.
“Every penny helps,” she voiced. “We will gladly provide more information to those who would like it. We are also happy to talk to anyone with questions about what we are hoping to do to celebrate this Independence Day.”
Donations may be dropped off at Espresso Yourself Coffee House, located in downtown Grafton, or mailed directly to Taylor County Fireworks 473 Nicholas Farm Rd., Grafton, WV 26354.
This year’s display is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 4. In the event of rain, the Garvin’s will be lighting up the night sky on Sunday, July 5.
Garvin shared that it is her belief that the annual show helps to draw folks into the city and is a very positive thing for the community.
“The fireworks presentation helps bolster the pride and hometown love that we all have for Grafton and Taylor County,” she imparted. “We truly enjoy carrying out this tradition with the community, and we hope that you will help us do so.”