Columbus Fabulous 4th festival is on

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rides, vendors to participate
Polk County’s recent gift to pay for fireworks for this year’s Columbus Fabulous Fourth festival has ensured that the festival will take place as hoped.
County commissioners heard Monday, April 18 from Columbus Town Manager Jonathan Kanipe, who said 10 vendors as well as the children’s rides have agreed to participate.
“I’d sincerely like to thank each of you for providing fireworks,” Kanipe said.
He publicly thanked commissioners, the county’s economic development commission (EDC) and Andy Millard, all of whom agreed to give donations a couple of weeks ago. The county agreed to fund up to $9,000 to pay for fireworks, which will cost almost $10,000. The county has already sent the check to the fireworks company, Zambelli.
During the county’s April 4 meeting, commissioners agreed to personally donate $100 each to the festival. The EDC and Millard’s business, Millard & Company, donated $500 each.
Kanipe said since the county’s donation, the town has received $865 from other sources through fundraising for the festival.
Columbus officials recently issued a letter of thanks to the county, commissioners and all donors who secured the fireworks this year.
“We are grateful to all of you and certainly appreciate the assistance provided,” said Columbus Mayor Eric McIntyre. “We believe this will be a terrific, family friendly festival and are looking forward to celebrating this year’s Hometown 4th of July.”
The town spent almost $32,000 on the festival last year.  This year, Columbus plans to spend about $15,000, with all of it coming from donations.
Because of budget constraints last year, Columbus Town Council decided not to spend any tax dollars on the festival this year, but instead to raise money and scale down activities to make the festival more “hometown” friendly as they said it had been in the past.
The theme for this year’s festival is “Hometown,” to commemorate the vital role small communities like Columbus have played in America’s rich history, according to the town’s website at
To save on costs, the committee has decided not to have golf carts or tents this year and not to pay for street sweeping as it has in the past. Instead, cleanup will be handled by volunteers.
This year will be the town’s 49th annual festival. Commissioners said Monday they hope cooperation can continue for next year’s 50th event.
Kanipe invited anyone interested in helping with the festival to attend the Fourth of July committee meetings that are held the second and fourth Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. at Columbus Town Hall.
The town encourages local vendors to sign up for the festival soon. A small booth is available for $25 and food booths for $200.
More than $4,000 is still needed to cover festival expenses.
Donations to help fund the festival can be sent to Columbus Town Hall, P.O. Box 146, Columbus, N.C. 28722 with “Fourth of July” indicated.

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