Mayor Nancy Michael, whose term is set to expire at the end of the year, is hoping someone outside city hall will step up to carry on the planning for the July 4 activities at Robe-Ann Park once she is gone.
Two years ago, the Celebrate '4' Committee had more than 20 members, but last year there were about half as many. Of those, half were city employees.
While Michael says she is grateful, she hopes to increase participation from people outside her administration this year. Mostly she hopes that a local organization will step up to take things over for next year.
"We would really like to once again reach out and get more community involvement," she said.
The Celebrate '4' Committee has scheduled its first meeting of the year for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 12 at city hall. Michael hopes that at least 15 people from the community at large will attend the meeting.
The mayor says she is planning an "aggressive" fundraising strategy this year and hopes the committee can pull together $20,000 -- approximately $14,000 of it to pay for fireworks.
"We will continue to need help in the fundraising," Michael said. "There's no assurance that the same people will donate this year."
Visitors to this year's event, which will likely take place on Wednesday, July 4, can enjoy some of the usual fare of the fair, such as the pie baking contest, dog show, entertainment stage, youth sporting events and games, and the Mike Rokicki Memorial 5K Walk/Run.
Something that may be on the bubble this year is the frisbee golf tournament. Michael said the golf-like game that is played with flying discs lacked participation last year.
Another favorite that will likely be back this year is the tug-of-war competition between county firefighters and police officers. Michael said it has proven to be a hit with audiences in years past.
"We are continuing to seek new ideas," she said.
Comprehensive Services has sponsored the children's games in the past and Michael hopes they will do it again this year.
Last year, Operation Life provided food for the event, Michael said.
Ultimately the committee will decide the planning.
"All of this takes manpower, money and planning, so I think the committee has felt very good about the success of the event and we want to continue that," Michael said.
To volunteer to help with the planning, assist on the day of the event or to simply donate, contact the mayor's office at 653-3100.