An estimated 3,500 people attended the festivities on July 5 at The Village Green in Cashiers to hear Continental Divide tear it up on stage before the crowd was dazzled by a Fireworks Extravaganza shot off from the Cashiers Rec Center.
Ann Self, Executive Director of The Village Green, said this was the largest turnout in the six years since they took over management of the firework celebration in 2013 after the county cut fireworks from the parks and recreation budget.
“The Village Green asks for donation admission at the entrances to the park to help offset the cost through a fireworks fund,” said Self. “The rest is underwritten by The Village Green. Needless to say, it is an expensive event to produce. But The Village Green Board of Directors feels strongly that it is vital for the Cashiers community to have a publicly accessible fireworks display for the Independence Day weekend celebration.”
Holding the event on July 5 (Friday) may be a bit unorthodox, but Self said it was the right thing to do.
“We did not have the show on July 4 because Groovin’ On the Green is the Friday night weekend concert series,” she said. “From a practical perspective, it just made more sense since most people are used to the Friday/weekend concerts. Having it on the weekend helps with engaging the entertainers, volunteer staffing, and other management of the event. Next year July 4th is on a weekend/Saturday, so we will shift to one day.”
After thousands of people descended on The Village Green, maintenance crews had to have the park clean and ready for an event the following day.
“Our maintenance staff did an amazing job cleaning up to prepare for another event the next day,” said Self. “Their job was made more challenging as several tents and chairs were left in the park overnight that had to be taken down and moved out of the way of the Saturday event set up. One of our organizational values is to provide excellence and they certainly accomplished that!”
The Village Green is privately conserved and receives no public works/government funding. All of the maintenance and operations of the park, including events like the Fireworks Extravaganza, rely on donations.
“We appreciate donations of any size to help with the cost of conserving this amazing park space and organizing all of the fun programs, activities and events for people to enjoy,” said Self.
To donate to The Village Green HERE.