Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

The "grand finale" of the 2022 Warren fireworks display didn't go off as planned due to technical difficulties. Photo by Brian Hagberg.

I was having a conversation with a friend over the weekend and we talked about how Warren County celebrates the Fourth of July.

Long story short, we came to the same conclusion – Warren does it right. Better than most, in fact.

It’s a weekend-long event, from the Food Truck Festival and all of its activities at Betts Park to the fireworks to the annual parade, everything about it is top-notch.

To watch the people lined from beginning to end of the parade route, to the constant stream of people coming in and out of Betts Park is truly impressive. Bill Thompson and the Fourth of July committee, the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry and everyone involved ensures that it is truly a celebration of the highest order.

This brings us to Sunday night and the fireworks, where most people noticed that the ‘grand finale’ was a little less than stellar.

Thompson explained there was a module that caught on fire, causing the end of the show to not quite be what spectators anticipated.

Of course, there was criticism, as there often is when things don’t go quite as expected. And that’s fine.

What isn’t fine, however, is when the people that speak the loudest when something goes wrong aren’t willing to step up and get involved themselves.

The Fourth of July committee is always looking for volunteers. It’s a theme that is common among most local groups. Christie Calvert Passinger of the Warren County Special Olympics recently spoke of the need for volunteers for that group to continue running their events. Jim Decker, John Papalia, and the fine folks at the WCCBI will tell you the same thing – that we as a community can’t put on these events without those people that are continually willing to give up some of their free time and pitch in.

Often, it’s the same people spread across multiple groups across the county that you see, again and again, continuing to go above and beyond to help out because they love this community and everything it stands for.

And that’s great, but we need more of it. Namely, we need more of it from some of the people that are the quickest to go on Facebook and complain when something goes awry.

That’s the easy part. Anyone can criticize. I get it, I’ve been one of those people. But I can also tell you that one of the most rewarding experiences is being involved in the community and the wonderful clubs and organizations that help make us who we are.

So, for all of you that are some of the most vocal critics, I call on you to put your money where your mouth is and lend a hand. I promise that if you do, not only will you find a great deal of satisfaction from it, but that the community will be a better place because of your involvement.