For many Americans the booms and pops of July 4th are music to the ears.
The Lone Grove Band Boosters are hoping those booms and pops can bring even more music to ears.
The group has been selling fireworks on Highway 70, just west of Lone Grove, for several years as a way to fund the band program. The annual tradition has become a staple fundraiser for the program and helps keep the band marching along.
“The band boosters do a great job,” David Hagan, Lone Grove band director, said. “Everything we need, they say yes.”
Hagan has worked as an assistant director at Lone Grove for the last five years, but took the reins this year for the program. Hagan said the transition to director was smooth after spending the last five years learning from Doug Hanson.
“Mr. Hanson and I worked together for five years so I know the program and I know the kids,” he said.
Each year the boosters roll out the white trailer, marked by black letters tying the trailer to the band. An illuminated sign with a giant arrow pointing to the trailer serves as another marker for the stand, which has become an annual part of the July 4th celebration.
The trailer is operated by a mix of parents and band students, with different teams taking shifts working the stand. Hagan said working the stand not only helps raise money for the band, but gives students valuable life skills in the process. Students learn to run a cash register, communicate with customers and learn
valuable interpersonal communication skills.
“It’s more than just instruments and music,” Hagan said. “We actually do a lot of interesting lessons.”
During trip years, the stand helps fund out-of-state trips for students. Hagan said the funds always either go toward helping students go on the trips or toward other initiatives for the band. Last year, the boosters purchased a trailer for the band. All of the funds raised through selling the fireworks go back toward enriching the students’ band experience.
“I think the best experience they get is they get to see new things and experience new people and get to perform in new venues,” Hagan said of the out-of-state trips. “They get to have these experiences and build those relationships, which is pretty cool.”
The stand will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. just west of Lone Grove on Highway 70 everyday until July 4th. Hagan encouraged anyone in the community to purchase fireworks from the stand in order to help keep the band marching on. The band boosters, Hagan said, have allowed the community to become an important part of the band and its legacy.
“It’s always good to have that collaboration between parents, the community and kids,” he said. “It gives more ownership of the program to the community. It’s not just the school band it’s Lone Grove’s band.”