It’s that time of year again, when the skies above Williston will light up in a dazzling display for the Fourth of July. For those looking to take part in the fun without the expense, the Williston Basin Speedway is ready to show visitors a rocking good time.
Final preparations are being made for the “Save the 4th of July in Williston, ND” event, planned for the racetrack on Thursday evening. Greg Cottrell, who has been spearheading the effort with the help of many local businesses and individuals, says everything has come together for a fun-filled night of fireworks for the whole family. Cottrell has partnered with Adam Natwick of Explosive Enterprises Fireworks to put on the show, raising more than $20,000 for the event.
Cottrell set out with a goal of matching the $10,000 received from the Williston Convention and Visitors Bureau, but received so much additional support that he decided to make the event even bigger and better by adding some additional features to the night’s activities.
The midway area of the fairground will be a plethora of activity on the Fourth, with 12 different food vendors set up to keep the crowd’s hunger at bay while they await the main event. For those 21 and older, the fairgrounds’ beer gardens will also be open, however no outside alcohol will be permitted on the grounds. This year, Cottrell was able to secure live entertainment for the night, with a DJ from Kickin’ It Entertainment starting the party off at 6 p.m., and local band Jade’s Agenda taking the stage from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.
At dusk, or about 10:45 to 11 p.m., the fireworks display will start, with a show that will run between 25 to 30 minutes. The display will be set to music this year, adding another layer of excitement to the night. One important note, Cottrell added, is that no outside fireworks will be permitted on the grounds, as it could create a safety issue with the main display and for the other spectators.
Cottrell said he’s thankful to have partnered with Natwick and his company, as Natwick is able to purchase fireworks for the display at a much lower rate than Cottrell would be able to do on his own. That, he said, allows for a much larger display at a fraction of the cost, making it easier to continue putting on the show each year.
“The amount of time and effort that was put into this was tremendous,” Cottrell told the Williston Herald. “Explosive Enterprises is donating their time and equipment and the ability to buy the fireworks at wholesale cost to be able to put on a show that would normally run $50,000 to $70,000, we’re able to do for about $22,000 to $24,000 because of their help.”
Multiple sponsors made the event come together, Cottrell said, and it is due to their generosity that the event is able to be offered to the public free of charge. things will kick off at 6 p.m., when vendors will begin selling their wares and the DJ will start playing. Parking will be available on the west said of the fairgrounds, much like it is for the fair. Parking and seating will be limited, so it is suggested that those looking to get a good spot for viewing arrive early to claim their stake, and bring camping chairs or blankets if they wish to sit out and watch the display.