APPLETON – Fourth of July Celebrations are already kicking off across the area.
In Appleton, a legacy continued Thursday as the Festival Foods Fireworks went off. This is the 80th year the Appleton Area Jaycees have hosted the celebration.
Every year Steve Schommer gets one of the best seats in the house for the Festival Foods Fireworks in Memorial Park.
“This is where I like to go and I get here early. Everybody around me just kind of mills around me and I sit and enjoy the show,” Schommer explained from the top of the big hill.
This year, Steve wasn’t alone. Although the events didn’t start until 5:00, the Marinoff family got here early.
“About…noon?” Said Ryan Marinoff.
“We thought it was gonna be packed and we wanted to get a nice spot,” explained Kyle Marinoff. It’s worth the wait.
“Because you can see everything and the fireworks are always right there,” said Rylan, pointing to the sky.
And these fireworks are free, for the public and the city.
“We do the funding, we find the sponsor and we pay for the entire fireworks, all the events,” explained Colleen Bies, Chairperson for the Appleton Area Jaycees.
This year is a big milestone: the Appleton Area Jaycees 80th anniversary running the show.
“It’s amazing. I’ve only been a part of it for three years, but I’m really happy and excited to be such a big part of it this year,” said Bies.
For a little while, wind and rain dampened the fun, but Schommer came prepared.
“The RADAR showed some spotty showers, so I just threw the umbrella in the car,” he explained.
The rain did stop, but could not stop the party, all leading up to the main show, the fireworks.
“It’s kind of a boyhood memory, I guess. You know? You enjoy it with your family and after you get older you just keep on enjoying it, said Schommer.