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Fireworks back in Fergus Falls

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For the first time in 6 years, people in Fergus Falls won't have to travel for a colorful fireworks display.

Thanks to some hard work and fundraising, the community can watch a show, right at home.

Nick Mariotti/ Affinity Plus: "I grew up in Fergus Falls and we always had fireworks for years and years..."

But when Nick Mariotti and his friends searched for a Fourth of July show in Fergus last year... they struggled to find anything nearby.

Mariotti: "We were sitting there looking at our phones trying to find the fireworks show... what time it was on... and there was none. There was none in neighboring communities, there was none in Fergus Falls."

Tough economic times forced the city to extinguish the popular event.

Mayor Hal Leland/ Fergus Falls Mayor: "In the last several years, we've only had fireworks once and it's been missed by the community."

Mariotti: "It was really disappointing. We really wanted to round out our weekend and have a little fun."

Mariotti's disappointment sparked him to take up the cause.

Between the support from the Credit Union he manages - and thousands in donations - ...he raised almost 14-thousand dollars.

The City Council covered the rest to pay for a 15-grand pyrotechnics display.

This year, local families will be able to 'ooh and aah' from these fairgrounds. And the town's mayor hopes the tradition will stick around for years to come.

Mayor Leland: "Everybody has their traditions. And it doesn't have to just be Thanksgiving or Christmas... Fourth of July is a really good way to have a tradition."

The mayor hopes the show will draw vacationers around Otter Tail County.

And Mariotti thinks it will keep folks in town, too.

Mariotti: "A lot of people don't have the means to drive for an hour to watch a show... end up buying some kind of ice cream or dinner along the way... We'd much rather keep that local, keep that in Fergus Falls and still provide them with a great show."

Fergus Falls will host two free shows this year...

The first is tomorrow night at 10:30 at the fairgrounds.

The second is at the I-94 Raceway Friday, right after the races.

Catherine Ross

Catherine joined the WDAY 6 News team as a reporter and photographer in April of 2014 and is honored to bring you stories from around the Red River Valley. She grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis and got her first taste of the news industry during a high school mentorship at Fox 9 in the Twin Cities. Catherine graduated from Emerson College in Boston where she participated in the student-run TV station WEBN and spent a semester in Washington, DC working at Voice of America. Those opportunities gave her a front-row seat to the 2012 Presidential election cycle, reporting at the Iowa Caucuses, Republican National Convention and President Obama’s second inauguration. Now happy to be back closer to family, Catherine enjoys exploring the nature and culture of the upper Midwest. She’s an avid runner, novice foodie and lifelong Twins fan. If you have any story ideas or just want to say hello, Catherine would love to hear from you!

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