Jaycees treat Baldwin to July 4 celebration
Judging from the reaction and size of the crowd, the Baldwin Jaycees scored big on July 4 when they revived a long-ago tradition of a fireworks display and community gathering.
Donna Kneedler, chairman of the board of the Jaycees, said the group has heard nothing but praise since the show.
"I think it went really well," said Kneedler. "Everyone we've talked to was pleased with it. We finally pulled it off."
The Jaycees' fireworks show was a mainstay of Baldwin for years, but ended about 20 years ago because of a lack of funding. A new group of Jaycees was determined to rekindle the tradition.
"Definitely," she said. "That was kind of the reason I got into Jaycees was to get this back. I've been around here a long time and I wanted to see it return.
"And, we're trying to make it a community event, not just a fireworks show," she said.
There were plenty of people show up for the new event. There were games and other fun to be had. And, of course, there was food. But the majority of the people showed up for the show at dusk, with crowd estimates ranging from 700 to 750 people.
"We're not sure how many people came out," said Kneedler. "At one time someone with the fire department said there were about 750 people. But there were also a lot of people who just watched the fireworks from their homes."
The show will go on again.
"We're going to keep trying every year and make it bigger and bigger," she said. "We've already had people send in donations. We see room for improvement, but we've had a lot of people say they had the best time."
She also said the group is open to suggestions. They can be sent to P.O. Box 963, Baldwin City, KS, 66006.