TAYLOR COUNTY—After shooting off a spectacular show of bright colors high above Grafton during the Memorial Day weekend, Taylor County Fireworks has now set their sights on their Independence Day display.
For nearly 30 years the night sky has been illuminated with a dazzling display of fireworks in celebration of the Fourth of July, and the folks behind the annual tradition 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, and unfortunately, so have the associated costs. Those expenses include the cost of permits, HAZMAT transportation, insurance and the shells themselves.
“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 the cost of this year’s Fourth of July display will come in upwards of $6,000, and the business would be reaching out to local entities to help cover that cost.
“We will be approaching the Taylor County Commission, City of Grafton and Leer Mine, who have been so supportive in the past, and we hope that will continue. We are also asking local businesses and citizens for donations of any amount toward the cost of producing the show,” Garvin voiced. “Any level of donation would be appreciated and moves us toward our goal of being able to do a display this year.”
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.”
For those who would like to mail in their donations, checks and money orders may be sent to Taylor County Fireworks 473 Nicholas Farm Road, Grafton, WV 26354. Check will need to be made payable to Taylor County Fireworks.
Donations may also be made via PayPal through Melissa Garvin @mrsg12. The Garvin’s are also working to secure local donation drop-off points, as well.
This year marks the Garvin’s seventh year at the helm, which would not have been as successful without the generosity of the community. And together, they are hoping to be able to light up the night sky this Fourth of July with a show slated for Saturday, July 2, beginning at 10:00 p.m.
In the event of inclement weather, fireworks will be launched on Sunday, July 3, once again beginning at 10:00 p.m. Updates may be found on Taylor County Firework’s Facebook page.
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,” Garvin expressed. “We truly enjoy carrying out this tradition with the community, and we hope that you will help us do so.”
With a hopeful outlook that the community will once again come through, she imparted, “We sure hope that you enjoyed the Memorial Day display, and that you will look to the sky in wonder and awe this Independence Day!”