The Ennis Chamber of Commerce has decided not to sell fireworks this year given the large local fires and the current dry conditions around the county, said president Karen Willett.
“Basically I think it was just one of those logical choices to make due to the fact we have very, very dry conditions in our county,” Willet said.
The chamber’s fireworks stand has been a staple in Ennis for several years and this is the first time it’s had to close for fire danger, said chamber member Steve Kack.
“Last Monday was going to be the first day that we were going to be open and selling and that was the day the Bear Trap Fire happened,” Kack said.
The chamber’s fireworks stand is the primary fundraiser for the organization’s scholarship fund, which gives out a $2,000 and $500 scholarship to a graduating Ennis student each year.
“That is our biggest fundraiser behind the fourth of July T-shirts,” Kack said.
Normally the chamber makes about $4,000 selling fireworks, he said. What doesn’t go toward the scholarship fund is used to promote local businesses.
Fireworks are restricted on public and private land across Madison County due to the dry conditions. So even if the chamber had sold fireworks, there wouldn’t be any place legal to use them, Willett said.
The final decision to close the fireworks stand came with a vote of the chamber board of directors Wednesday, she said.
However, the board has yet to decide on a fundraiser to make up for the loss of income garnered by the fireworks stand, Kack said.
The chamber sponsored the Ennis Fourth of July Parade and will be selling 50/50 tickets at the parade. The chamber is also considering organizing a fundraiser later in the summer. In the meantime people interested in donating funds to the Ennis Chamber Scholarship program can drop them off at the chamber office on Main Street.
For more information call 682-4388.