Norfolk’s Boomfest gets bigger and better every year.
At least that’s the goal of the committee of 36 volunteers who meet every month to plan the annual Fourth of July fireworks display in Norfolk.
“It’s always, ‘What can we do this year? What are we going to add to make the show better?’ ” said Don Wisnieski, president of Big Bang Boom, which is the organization that puts on Boomfest. “We have a limited budget . . . but we have to raise the bar.”
This year, the organization will be making Norfolk's fireworks show at Skyview Lake on Saturday, July 7, at 10 p.m. the first of its kind in the state.
This year's Boomfest will include a laser show produced by Minnesota-based Lasertainment Productions that works in conjunction with the fireworks display. The fireworks display has been put on by J&M Displays for the past nine years.
Wisnieski made that announcement to about 30 people at a "teaser" preview event Tuesday night at the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce building. He said shows have been done where lasers were shown first and then fireworks but never together choreographed digitally as one show.
“It’s about exciting the crowd with visual effects that move faster than any other light form,” he said, adding that Norfolk’s show will include both beam and graphic lasers.
The lasers will be projected from a 30-by-40 foot screen. Those at Skyview for the fireworks will easily be able to see the laser show from across the lake, Wisnieski said.
Not only will Boomfest be the single largest event in Northeast Nebraska, Wisnieski said he also expects it to be the largest fireworks and laser show within a six- to eight-state area.
There will be some challenges this year with traffic and parking due to 25th Street on the east side of Skyview Lake closed for construction.
However, Big Bang Boom members have been working on a solution for several months.
A parcel of land has been set aside on the west side of 18th Street and north of Maple Street that will become a paid parking section.
“For $5 a carload, you can be real close to everything,” Wisnieski said.
Free parking in the field north of Skyview Lake will remain the same as in past years.
This year, two lanes of traffic will be allowed to exit the park out onto Maple Street. The left lane exiting the park will be directed toward 13th Street. The right lane will go south on 18th Street. The paid parking area will exit north on 18th Street.
“With two lanes of traffic exiting, we’ll be able to dump the traffic in a very timely fashion,” Wisnieski said. “There’s just a couple of people who are going to want to go left or right and they’re not going to be able to.”
Activities will be taking place at the lake prior to the fireworks, including an inflatable midway opening at 1 p.m.; Zumba at 5 p.m. and the Rotary Club’s Music in the Park series featuring jazz and blues music at 7 p.m.
Wisnieski said Big Bang Boom is still looking for sponsors for this year’s show.
“This is a totally donated-type show from all of our sponsors,” he said. “All of the fundraising is from the general public from large and small donors.”
And there’s always room for more volunteers, too. He said it takes 250-300 people the day of the show — from the vendors, the extra activities and then the fireworks display — to pull off the whole event.
For volunteer or sponsor opportunities, interested people can call Wisnieski at 841-2000.