Fun Fest: Local expert to stage fireworks show
Maple Park Fun Fest
Sunday, Sept. 2
View from the baseball field,
Casey’s General Store,
Heritage Hills or
Squire’s Crossing subdivisions
Rain date: Monday, Sept. 3
by Susan O’Neill
Maple Park—In a field where you’re only guaranteed a job one day a year—on the 4th of July—pyrotechnician and Maple Park resident Roger Kahl performed a total of 17 shows last year. Kahl, who will do the show for Maple Park Fun Fest, has been doing fireworks shows for events in the local area for the past 14 years.
Kahl began his pyrotechnician career when he and other Maple Park Fun Fest committee members were researching the possibility of fireworks for the Maple Park event. He ended up taking the ground class in pyrotechnics and passed the test.
“It’s been fun ever since,” he said.
The show will begin at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2, in the Squire’s Crossing Subdivision, although people will be able to view the show from the baseball field, Casey’s General Store, and from homes in the Heritage Hills Subdivision. Parking is free.
Kahl said that local businesses donate items for the raffle as well as money to support the fireworks, and the Maple Park Lions Club and the Maple Park American Legion post are major sponsors. Organizers raise money from the sale of 400 tickets at $10 each, which allows people into a raffle event in July. Each of 13 different raffles offers three chances to win prizes, which include items such as gift certificates, a round of golf and others.
Kahl does the fireworks for events in Burlington, Montgomery, at Bob-Jo’s race track in Sycamore and NIU’s football games, among others. He and the seven or eight people who help him with the Maple Park show donate their time, so all of the money collected goes toward the fireworks. He said the show should be pretty good, with a finale featuring an 8-inch shell traveling 800 feet into the air.
“People remember your finale,” he said.