NP skies to be dark on July 4

For the first time in 36 years, the Fourth of July skies over New Prague will likely be dark.

There is no community fireworks show planned for the Independence Day holiday in New Prague.

New Prague Fourth of July Celebrations Inc., a volunteer organization, gave their final show in 2012 and no one has stepped up in the year since to replace them.

The group, also known as the New Prague Pyrotechnics team, had thought about continuing, but after a long consideration decided against it. They cited as a reason that it was getting difficult to raise the funds for the approximately $9,000 program. The pyrotechnics team did receive $1,100 from the city for insurance.

The 2012 program had 12 members involved. They began set up of the site, near the wetland area next to Falcon Ridge Elementary School, at 3 p.m., hours before sundown. The preparation included setting up mortars for firing off the 400 firework shells, making sure the shells would fit and spraying down the area with water. The team also had to take care of cleanup of the area.

Kristy Mach, executive director of the New Prague Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber wasn’t planning on taking over the show.

"Nobody has stepped forward to volunteer," said City Administrator Mike Johnson. While he couldn’t say for a fact, he thought it might be too late to organize a program for the holiday, which is Thursday, July 4, since most vendors are likely already tied up.

There are two fireworks shows planned in the immediate area. Lonsdale will have its program at 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, on the southwest side of the city. The fireworks display follows the Lonsdale Aces DRS baseball game at Trenda Memorial Field.

Veseli’s annual fireworks show begins at “dark-thirty” (about 10 p.m.) on July 4 at the west end of town. The program caps off the community’s 34th annual July 4th celebration.