Marble Falls Community Fireworks blast off each year — with your help

Fourth of July in Marble Falls means an evening at Lakeside Park with live music, friendly faces and, of course, a night sky ablaze with fireworks. The annual fireworks show wouldn't happen without private donations and community efforts, which manage to raise more than $20,000 each year for the whole shebang!

City residents can opt to give $1 as part of their water bill to the Marble Falls Community Fireworks fund. That brings in about half of what is needed, said organizer Judy Miller, owner of Outback Unlimited in Marble Falls. She spearheads the fundraising and party planning for the fireworks festival as a labor of love, she said. “I think celebrating the Fourth of July is incredibly important,” she said. “And you have to have the fireworks to do it right.”

The campaign for the July fireworks is a great example of how a community can rally around a cause when governments or institutions no longer offer a cherished service. Those who believe in the power of grassroots initiatives give their support to the fireworks festival for that reason alone — it's all about people power.

At one time, the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce hosted, funded and organized the fireworks show. But the July 4 fireworks were canceled in 2009 after funding constraints forced chamber officials to pull the plug.

Before that, part of the hotel-occupancy tax funded the fireworks festival, but a state attorney general’s opinion ruled those monies couldn’t be used for a fireworks event.

That's when Miller and other private business owners launched a rescue effort to resurrect the fireworks show in 2010. Private fundraising efforts have kept it going since then.

The event adds a boost to the local economy by “putting heads in beds” — attracting visitors to area hotels, restaurants and shops. It’s also a fun family event that draws locals and visitors alike to one of the best fireworks shows in the region.

Anyone interested in donating to the Marble Falls celebration may write a check to Marble Falls Community Fireworks and send it care of Judy Miller to P.O. Box 158, Marble Falls TX 78654. The donation is tax-deductible — the fireworks show is priceless!