DRACUT -- The town's July 3 fireworks display and concert is back.
In mid-May, residents Kevin Willett and David L'Heureux, who both serve on the Dracut Finance Committee, began conducting a fundraising campaign to revive the town's annual July 3 fireworks display and concert on the Lakeview Avenue school grounds as a matter of family fun, community togetherness and civic pride, Willett said.
"It came up in conversation at Finance Committee meetings, and we both thought it's important for a community to have this kind of free community event that brings the whole town together," said Willett.
The two kicked off the fundraising campaign through word-of-mouth and social networking, including a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/dracutfireworks) that aimed to generate $6,000. Enough money has been pledged from local businesses and individuals to enable Willett and L'Heureux to issue a "guarantee" this week that a 7 p.m. concert and 11-minute fireworks display, beginning around at 9 p.m., will happen in Dracut on the night of July 3. Atlas Fireworks Co. has been contracted to set off the display, Willett reported.
"It's OK to announce now that we're doing it, and that It will happen," said Willett. "The only unresolved issue is the length of the display. Right now, the show we have funding for lasts about 11 minutes. If people want to support the event and maybe extend that they can send in a check and help out."
As listed on the Dracut Fireworks Facebook page under "How you can help," donations may be sent in check form to: Eastern Bank, 45 Broadway Road, Dracut Ma, 01826. Checks may be made out to: "Town of Dracut Fireworks."
Both proud Dracut residents, L'Heureux is an employee of Eastern Bank; Willett owns an independent networking consultant firm, "Friends of Kevin."
"Basically the July 3 fireworks was a town tradition supported by corporate donations and in hard economic times it kind of fell to the wayside," Willett said.
"A thousand people used to come to the fireworks. Do you just let something like that go away? You can't," he added. "It's something to bring everybody in the town together, and that's really important."
At Tuesday's selectmen's meeting, Town Manager Dennis Piendak gave special praise to Lowell 5 Bank for making the largest single donation toward restoring Dracut's Fourth of July fireworks celebration and concert. It makes Lowell 5 the event's lead sponsor, Piendak said.
Follow John Collins on Twitter at johncolowellsun.