Maquoketa fireworks canceled - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Maquoketa fireworks canceled

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MAQUOKETA (KWWL) - The Fourth of July won't be quite as festive this year in Maquoketa. The usual fireworks display at the Jackson County Fairgrounds has been canceled, due to a lack of funding.

The event is put on through a partnership between the Maquoketa Chamber of Commerce and the race track promoter, Bob Wagener.

Wagener declined to speak with us on camera, but did tell us he relies on extra race ticket sales on the Saturday night before the Fourth to pay for the fireworks that are shot off that night. But he says those extra ticket holders have been nonexistent in recent years. Wagener also tells us local residents seem to have lost interest in Maquoketa's event, passing it up for bigger displays in other cities.

"I didn't think they were that spectacular to start with," said Maxine Sutton.

At the same time, she says some people are disappointed to see this local tradition fall by the wayside.

"Yeah, it's sad to see it get canceled. I know there's people that go to this one because they don't want to go that far out of town to go to other ones."

Wagener says on a normal Fourth of July, a lot of spectators like to park in a field just behind the race track to watch the fireworks go off, but they don't have to pay anything to do that. Next year, he might consider asking them for some sort of donation to cover part of the cost. But this year, they'll have no choice but to head out of town to get their fix of fireworks.

Maquoketa won't be completely without fireworks this year, however. There will be a show at 9 PM on Thursday, to celebrate a new 3-year partnership between Jackson County Regional Health Center and Genesis Health System.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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