Small town will celebrate 4th of July in a big way

The skies over the village of Hopkins will light up like never before this 4th of July.

Since the Gun Lake Casino can't hold its annual fireworks display this year due to ongoing construction of a new parking ramp,  they offered their $35,000 show to the village, according to James Nye, spokesperson for the Gun Lake Tribe.

The show will take place near Hopkins High School and Middle School, located at 333 Clark St.

"This is very exciting for us," Village President Mary Howard said. Normally the village has a $3,000 fireworks display.

"I have lived in Hopkins for 32 years," Howard said. "This show is unprecedented."

Howard said officials are a little worried about traffic getting in and out of the village due to the increase in the crowd size. But she said village officials have worked with Allegan County emergency management staff to ensure the appropriate amount of law enforcement and safety measures are in place for the big night.

Howard said the village and school district are working together to provide space for the event.

"I think it's nice of the tribe to make that donation to the village and it's good for the community of Hopkins," Hopkins Public Schools Superintendent Gary Wood said.

Howard said the school district is opening all of its parking lots for the event, but spectators should be aware that the lots behind the middle and high schools on Clark Street and south of the elementary school on Water Street will not be available for parking until after the parade around 6-6:30 p.m.

Fireworks will begin at dusk on July 4.

Howard said she recently sent mailers out to village residents letting them know they are allowed to sell their yard space for parking. But if they're not going to do that, she advised they should rope it off.

Visitors will be able see the fireworks from the stands and the grassy areas outside of the football field and track. However, the actual football, varsity baseball and softball fields are off limits.

"The visitors' bleachers will have an excellent vantage point to view the fireworks," Wood said.

Howard said the show is set to music and is expected to last a little over 20 minutes.

"It's nice that the school can provide a place for that to happen," Wood said. "We're just pleased to be able to partner with the community and the tribe on this."

The fireworks display will be presented by Ace Pyro, and the company will shoot them off from the village-owned fenced-in area just west of the football field.

"The village is excited to be hosting this, and is grateful to the Gun Lake Casino for giving us this opportunity," Howard said.