Fireworks display still short on money

File photo Clovis’ annual Smoke on the Water fireworks display is $10,000 short of its $25,000 goal.

Liliana Castillo

Clovis’ annual Smoke on the Water fireworks display is scheduled to explode over Greene Acres Park on July 4 despite drought and high temperatures.

That is, if another $10,000 can be raised.

Smoke on the Water is a community-supported event and Clovis and Curry County Chamber of Commerce Events Coordinator Lauren Tillman said $15,000 of the overall goal of $25,000 has been raised.

Tillman said the chamber, which is coordinating funds for the show, has had several conversations with Clovis Fire Chief Ray Westerman about the safety side of Smoke on the Water.

“He’s assured us that we’re OK,” she said. “We’re hoping by having a big community fireworks show (it) will deter people from having their own. We’re just keeping it safer by having a professional do it.”

Also late Thursday, the New Mexico Forestry Service announced it was extending restrictions on fireworks, smoking, campfires and open-fires to the entire state.

Restrictions were initially put into place April 16 for most counties in the state, including Curry and Roosevelt counties.

Under the new forestry service restrictions, fireworks are prohibited on all state and private wildlands outside city or federal jurisdictions. Exceptions are allowed for fire department approved public exhibits.

Westerman said because the Clovis display takes place in the center of town, fire danger is minimal.

“The park is green and kept short. Homes in the immediate vicinity have done the same to their yards,” Westerman said. “None of that (fireworks) is going to drift into the county.”

Westerman said dry open grasslands found outside of the city are what cause concern for the fire department when it comes to fireworks.

Westerman said because other cities in the area have canceled their fireworks displays, Clovis is expecting a larger crowd.

Amarillo, Canyon and Lubbock have canceled their fireworks displays.

Westerman said based on the 10-day forecast he received, there continues to be zero percent chance of rain and we can expect extremely high temperatures.

Before the fireworks, residents can celebrate the Fourth of July by participating in a 5K Fun Run and Walk beginning at 8 a.m. Walkers and runners will run down Main Street.

Music and events begin at 8 p.m. with fireworks beginning at 8:45 p.m.

Tillman said the annual Milk Boat Races won’t be held this year because the drought has caused low levels at Greene Acres Park.

Donations for the show can be made by mailing a check, payable to “Smoke on the Water,” to 105 E. Grand, or by calling 763-3435 to donate with a credit card.