Crowds have a blast at Lake Glenville Fireworks

Cheers erupted along the shorelines after the finale of the 2020 Lake Glenville Fireworks show on July 3.

Friends of Lake Glenville has sponsored the show for the past 23 years and FLG Vice President and Board Member Marianne Smith said it a tradition that people look forward to each year.

“The turnout for the fireworks this year was probably better than in previous years, but we’ve always had a great response to them,” said Smith. “We generally schedule our fireworks a day or two before Cashiers’, so that we don’t compete with each other for audience, but of course Cashiers’ display was cancelled this year. We estimate over 200 boats were assembled on the lake and several hundred people along the roadway (NC 107) and many more from their own homes.”

Boats dotted the lake for the Lake Glenville Fireworks on July 3.

After municipalities throughout the state cancelled their Independence Day celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers of Lake Glenville’s firework show felt the event could be held safely given the locale.

“Our situation is very unique and ideal since people are far apart in their boats, cars, or homes; unlike most fireworks where people gather on a lawn or in bleachers,” said Smith. “We are proud to have been able to provide this respite and hope it lifted the spirits of our locals and visitors alike.”

Most towns throughout the country cancelled their fireworks displays, but organizers of the Lake Glenville Fireworks felt it could be held safely.

Given the parameters of the venue and the opportunity for attendees to adhere to social distancing guidelines, organizers were confident the show could be held safely.

“It was really not a difficult decision to hold either our fireworks this year or our Annual Lake Cleanup, which was a huge success on June 6,” said Smith. “Although we have cancelled all of our usual social programs so far because they could not be safely held while practicing social distancing protocols, both of these events could go forward without compromising safety regarding COVID.”

FLG took over sponsoring the Lake Glenville Fireworks from Stuart Hall, a Glenville resident, who put them on for several years with some friends they called “The Glenville Navy.”

Families picked their spots on the lake early knowing the popularity of the annual Lake Glenville Fireworks display.

Smith said the fireworks are funded through donations collected from FLG members and nonmembers, HOA’s around the Lake, and several sponsors, in particular Signal Ridge Marina, who Davis said is extremely generous in their support.

“It’s a community effort and very popular with multigenerational families who gather year after year in their homes and boats to celebrate the July 4 holiday,” said Smith. “Many renters come this week, counting on being able to see this unique display.”

The higher ground of the cemetery was a popular vantage point for attendees.

FLG uses fireworks vendor Hale Artificier Fireworks out of Charlotte, who has been doing Lake Glenville’s firework display for many years.

FLG hired Hale Artificier Fireworks out of Charlotte to run the fireworks display.

Smith said Hale’s lead technician grew up in Cullowhee and the entire crew loves to come to Lake Glenville for its natural beauty and ambiance.

The fireworks display usually lasts 20-25 minutes and are shot from private property in The Pointe subdivision with a homeowner’s permission.

Video below shot from The Pointe. Courtesy of Kristy McCall

Below are photos taken from The Pointe, courtesy of Kristy McCall.

The Pointe’s HOA President, Bryan Phegley, works closely with FLG’s Fireworks Chairman, Denny Smith to co-ordinate access, safety, and other logistics.

Cheers erupted from the crowd after the finale of the Lake Glenville Fireworks display on July 3.

“We also would like to acknowledge Cashiers- Glenville Fire and Rescue squad who are always on site to assure safety and support,” said Smith.

To learn more about Friends of Lake Glenville’s advocacy and programs click HERE.

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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