On Saturday, July 2, the community is invited to get a close look at one of the few remaining large fireworks shows in the community. The Gering’s Allred Brothers get set for their 21st annual show at Memorial Stadium next to the Gering Junior High.
Event organizer Justin Allred said the fireworks show started as just a barbecue for family and friends over the Fourth of July weekend. In the evening, the kids would shoot off fireworks.
“The show as it is now started when we moved back here in 2007,” Allred said. “We started doing some shows on the high school lawn after a barbecue.”
Liability and safety concerns led him to partner with the Gering Schools and they decided to move the fireworks show to Memorial Stadium.
“This is the fourth or fifth year we’ve had the show at the football stadium,” Allred said. “It wasn’t anything large scale until we teamed up with the schools and we were able to provide a venue where people could come and watch safely.”
The event starts at 6 p.m. with the Gering Schools Music Booster Club members selling burgers and hot dogs at the concession stand to raise funds for the Gering schools’ music program.
“We’ll have the elementary/junior high marching band there to perform,” said Randy Raines, Director of Bands for the Gering Schools. “Members of the high school summer band program will also be playing songs they’ll perform in the Oregon Trail Days parade. We wrap up the music about 6:45 p.m. with the Gering City Band.”
The Gering City Band has been performing concerts for the Gering community for over 120 years and this year’s band has 70 members ages 14 to 87. Members will perform various patriotic, movie, and popular tunes as well as marches and novelty tunes by American composers.
Raines said all the money raised at the event is used for scholarships and other needed equipment for students in the band program.
The National Anthem plays at 8:45 p.m., and the fireworks start at 9 p.m. Allred said it’s a continuous barrage of fireworks with no “down time.” The finale has more than 5,000 shots that take five to seven minutes to finish.
“Most finales have 200 to 300 shells,” Allred said. “That makes a huge difference. Plus, the crowd can see them up close rather than from a distance.”
The continuous show lasts about an hour, scheduled to end at about 10 p.m. to meet the city’s fireworks cutoff time of 10:30 p.m.
Allred said what keeps him going is the outpouring of gratitude from people who enjoy one of the few remaining large fireworks shows in the valley. “We had about 2,500 people last year and we’re expecting about as many for 2016,” Allred said, adding there will be donation buckets at the show for those who want to help out. Or, donors are welcome to call Allred at 308-672-8593.
Local Police and Fire Departments encourage everyone to have a safe Fourth of July celebration. Be aware of local ordinances and make sure children know them as well.
Fireworks are now on sale through July 4 at 11:59 p.m. Fireworks may be discharged from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day through July 3 in Scottsbluff. In Gering, the cutoff time is 10:30 p.m. On July 4, the hours are extended to midnight.
Possessing or discharging fireworks in any of the city parks is prohibited. City parks are for the enjoyment of all and obviously, all citizens do not enjoy fireworks. When practical, parks will be posted with a notice of this ordinance.