There will be fireworks — but not in Bedford

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July 4 in Moneta; July 6 at the Lake

By John Barnhart

This July 4 the skies surrounding Bedford will be dark—and quiet.

    Because of budget decisions, Bedford will not have a fireworks display this year.
    But for those who want to see fireworks on July 4 in this area, the Moneta Volunteer Fire Department will sponsor a fireworks display at Downtown Moneta and on July 6 the Saunders Volunteer Fire Company will have its annual fireworks event at the Lake at Parkway Marina.
    Bedford City Council has been discussing for several years the possibility of not funding the fireworks any longer. At one time the city and Bedford County split the $14,000 cost of the fireworks but the county cut that expense from its budget and the city had carried the entire load for several years. Attempts to find a corporate sponsor to help offset that funding failed.    This year, the expense was cut by city council. The hope was a private company would pick up the sponsorship.
    “Nobody stepped up to provide the funds,” stated Bedford City Manager Charles Kolakowski.
    Kolakowski said cutting public funds for fireworks has become common in cities and towns.
    “It’s not unusual,” he said of the cuts, adding decisions have had to be made in many areas. “Unfortunately that’s one of them.”
    For many it will be a disappointment.
    Area residents annually gathered in a number of areas to watch the fireworks. Bedford Main Street had entertainment at the Farmer’s Market for several years and many went there to watch. Others watched from the area around Bedford Primary School; others from the comfort of their own backyards or area business parking lots.
    Since 2002 the fireworks display has been set off from the National D-Day Memorial; prior to that at Liberty Lake Park.
    But there will be fireworks, just not in Bedford.
    The third annual FireWORX Fest will be held July 4, 6-10:30 p.m. at Downtown Moneta (Va. 122 & White House Road),
    The Moneta Volunteer Fire Department will sponsor the Independence Day celebration with music by The WORX Band and vendors, food, beverages, games and more, followed by a fireworks display. There is a $5 admission fee for those 10 and over; children 9 and under are free. Free parking. All proceeds benefit MVFD.
    This is the third year of this event and this year’s promises to be just as great as in the past years, according to Jeff Pauley, president of the fire department. Centra is funding this fireworks display again this year.
    And that’s not all.
    The Saunders Volunteer Fire Company will present its annual Smith Mountain Lake Fireworks Display at Parkway Marina July 6.
    This fireworks presentation is preceded by a fun-filled day of activities including live music and food.
    If you need more information or to donate, visit SMLFireworks.org, call (540) 297-4412,  or by mail at: Treasurer, SVFC, P.O. Box 14, Huddleston, VA 24104.