The Duncan Banner
The sky over Bray Park lit up Saturday night, as the annual Bray fireworks display provided a Fourth of July celebration for nearly 3,000 people.
The annual show has been a long running display, previously spending more than 15 years in a pasture east of Duncan, before it was moved to the Town of Bray last year. This was the second year a group of citizens brought the fireworks display within the town limits of Bray.
Todd Pass, who is among the 25 men responsible for the fireworks display, said Saturday night’s show was a success and help to raise more money for the Bray Park playground. Last year’s show raised about $800 for playground equipment with an additional $14,000 added by the Bray Town Council for the project.
This year, between $800 and $900 was raised for a security fence to go around the playground equipment. Pass said there could be more donations coming in for the project.
“We have about 3/4 of the money to do it,” Pass said. “That was our goal. We should be able to do it if we get all the money we were promised.”
Much of the fireworks display was out-of-pocket donations by the 25 men who shot off the fireworks Saturday night. In all, about $6,000 was spent on the show. The most expensive items were the kids parachutes, which cost between $1,200 to $1,300 for about 900 parachutes.
But it was with the launching of the parachutes Saturday night’s event began. The parachutes were launched, and children were given an opportunity to chase after them.
Saturday’s display last for about an hour and provided people with a night other than the Fourth of July to see fireworks. Pass said Saturday was chosen for several reasons. Among those reasons were providing people an opportunity to enjoy other Fourth of July festivities, giving people peace of mind when it comes to working the day after the Fourth of July since the holiday lands on a Thursday this year and providing an opportunity for other communities to get involved.
Pass said it may have been a Bray celebration, but people from every community in Stephens County were involved, whether they made donations or helped during the event. Doyle firefighters helped keep an eye on the fireworks display, and Velma Mayor Shawn Enloe ran a concession stand, which had some proceeds going toward the cause.
Pass said there are plenty of people he would like to acknowledge for their efforts and support, but he said there are far too many people to name.
“We have more people to help us grow it,” Pass said. “We’ve added some good people. It so hard for these town to put on a big show. It costs so much money. We can’t do this without everybody’s support.”
Pass said the reaction of those in attendance has been positive. He said people have given glowing reviews.
As a measure to purchase more fireworks, while attempting stretch funds, the group uses smaller caliber fireworks. Pass said people are able to get closer, and more fireworks can be purchased because the smaller caliber fireworks are less expensive.
“You can still put on a good show with cheaper fireworks,” Pass said.
Bray’s fireworks display Saturday is the first of several fireworks displays scheduled for this week. Marlow and Comanche will have Fourth of July celebrations.
Marlow’s celebration will begin with a parade at 9:15 a.m. Thursday on Main Street. The parade will be followed by a slew of booths set up in Redbud Park. The night will end with a fireworks display, with funding provided by the Marlow Lions Club.
The Bray celebration may take a page from the Marlow celebration in its attempt to grow next year. Pass said the goal is to add booth space for next year’s celebration.
Comanche’s celebration is also set for Thursday and is being organized by the American Legion post in Comanche. The event will feature a baseball tournament beginning at 9 a.m. There will also be child rides provided by S&S Amusements and live entertainment.
Pass said this group of men will be helping with the Comanche fireworks display that night, too.