LRBOI makes $20,000 donation to Forest Festival fireworks show

MANISTEE — Three times the fun is coming to Manistee National Forest Festival fireworks show this year.

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians/Little River Casino Resort donated $20,000 to the Manistee National Forest Festival Fireworks that will allow them to triple the show this year. Shown (left to right) are Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce board member Shari Wehrmeister, Chamber event program coordinator Diana Wall, Chamber board member/Little River Casino Resort Connie Waitner, tribal councilor Ron Pete, tribal councilor Gary DiPiazza, tribal councilor Sandra Lewis, tribal councilor Jamie Friedel, tribal councilor speaker Joseph Riley, Little River Casino Resort general manager Andrew Gentile and Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce president Stacie Bytwork.

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians/Little River Casino Resort donated $20,000 to the Manistee National Forest Festival Fireworks that will allow them to triple the show this year. Shown (left to right) are Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce board member Shari Wehrmeister, Chamber event program coordinator Diana Wall, Chamber board member/Little River Casino Resort Connie Waitner, tribal councilor Ron Pete, tribal councilor Gary DiPiazza, tribal councilor Sandra Lewis, tribal councilor Jamie Friedel, tribal councilor speaker Joseph Riley, Little River Casino Resort general manager Andrew Gentile and Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce president Stacie Bytwork.

That is being made possible thanks to Little River Band of Ottawa Indians/Little River Casino Resort who made a $20,000 donation to the festival for the fireworks. It is something that Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce president Stacie Bytwork said is going to thrill those attending this year’s event.

“We are super excited that they reached out and wanted to do this for our community as it speaks volumes for what they contribute,” said Bytwork. “The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians/Little River Casino Resort are a  presenting sponsor of the Forest Festival and fireworks and decided they wanted us to have a bigger and better show this year. It will be 20 minutes long and triple the show.”

People should also take note that this year the fireworks will be held at 10:30 p.m. on July 3 instead of July 4 like they are most years. The location will still be the same, as they will be shot off at First Street Beach.

Bytwork said there is another big addition to the fireworks display this year.

“The really unique thing is the fireworks are going to be synced to veterans/patriotic music this year,” said Bytwork. “It will be heard at the carnival down here and on the Mitten Radio (101.5 FM), so if you are sitting anywhere you can hear the music. We are going to have two DJ’s on the beach also playing the music.”

The addition of the bigger fireworks display is something Bytwork said that chamber officials feel will add even more to an already great festival.

“It’s just one more thing to showcase the community and this area,” said Bytwork. “I am sure this news will build some more excitement and everyone just loves the fireworks show. So if we can triple that effect with the fireworks and music it is going to be amazing.”

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Tribal Council speaker Joseph Riley said the tribal council and casino were happy to make the contribution.

“It’s great when we can work together with the community and especially with things like the Forest Festival and fireworks to make it more of a destination attraction,” said Riley. “It benefits everyone from our business at the casino to the local businesses downtown.”

Riley said expanding the fireworks display is going to be something that the very youngest children, right on up to senior citizens, are going to enjoy.

“I am excited to see it myself as I am down here every year,” he said. “We love it here and we have got nothing but positive support. It reflects well on all of us that we are working together as a community.”

This year the Manistee National Forest Festival will be running from June 29-July 4.

avatar

Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply