Onaway chamber dips into savings to sponsor fireworks show


by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor

Most of the festivities surrounding the Greatest Fourth in the North have been canceled due to the novel coronavirus; however, the most important part of the Independence Day celebration is still a go in Onaway. 

There will be a fireworks show at dusk near the Onaway Speedway property Saturday evening starting at about 10:20 p.m. It will be the only community fireworks display in Presque Isle County. 

“It will be the same place it has been the last two years,” said Onaway Community Chamber of Commerce (OCCC) president Kamron Oberlin. It’s property northeast of the track that is owned by Don Wiltshire. 

“It’s a good spot because it is in that corner between M-68 and M-33,” said Oberlin. “It makes it possibl

e to see it in all directions.”

Speedway owner Mike Sturgill is allowing people to park in the parking lot to view the show, later in the evening, said Oberlin.

The fireworks are being made possible by an organization that has not been able to raise any money because of the ongoing health crisis, so the decision was made to dip into the savings.

“This year it is $7,500,” said Oberlin. “That’s our normal amount. We have a few townships that kick in about $500 each. We have to usually raise about $5,500 to $6,000.”

Unfortunately, the OCCC has not been able to raise any funds.

“It typically revolves around events and raffles,” said Oberlin. “It was impossible to do this year. We are taking it as a loss at this point, but we did not want to not do fireworks this year because of that.”