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Lions having a blast with new fireworks stand

by CAROLINE LOBSINGER
Staff Writer | June 24, 2023 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Even though they are rookies at running a fireworks stand, the Sandpoint Lions are having a blast.

"It's already going fabulous," Sandpoint Lions president Janice Rader said.

The club has a limited amount of fireworks and is hoping to see them all sell out, Rader said.

It's the first year the club has operated a fireworks booth, but they made sure it has a good selection for the community, Eric Brown, Sandpoint Lions second vice president, said.

"It's the first time ever we have decided to open and man a fireworks booth where you can come get the fireworks you want and need," Brown said.

All proceeds will go to help fund the annual fireworks show at Sandpoint City Beach as well as help with the costs of putting on the 70th annual Independence Day celebration.

Located in the northwestern corner of the Sandpoint Safeway parking lot, 702 N. Fifth Ave., the booth will be open daily through July Fourth. The stand will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

While most know the Sandpoint Lions operates the annual Toys for Tots, which dates back to December 1953. However, many are unaware that the Independence Day celebration — cited by many as their favorite community event — is also a program that is run by the Sandpoint Lions.

The Fourth of July events and Toys for Tots aren't the only activities sponsored by the Sandpoint Lions Club. The club also hosts an annual Easter egg hunt, a small haunted house for Halloween, a sight and hearing program, monthly bingo at the community hall, and scholarships for students. Brown said the club also recently started a child cancer and environmental awareness programs and is working to start a diabetic awareness program.

From residents to local businesses, Sandpoint Lions said the community always turns out in support of the club and its event.

"We would love to thank each and every person and business that helps to make all these programs possible," Brown said in announcing the news of the planned fireworks stand earlier this month. "We live in a very loving and caring community. Yes, as a community, there are always problems and issues but what has made us so strong is how this community seems to always pull together to be stronger and more loving than the day before."

It is clear that many care about the community and want to see it grow stronger, Brown said previously.

"None of this would ever be possible without the amazing support from the outstanding community support we receive," Brown said.

In addition to the fireworks, the Sandpoint Lions will be selling 70th-anniversary celebration T-shirts and tickets for its annual raffle. This year, the top prize is an ATV, while the second-place prize is $1,000 cash.

"We're just super excited," Rader said. "The company that does the fireworks show has promised something special for our 70th anniversary."

The community celebration, combined with a family barbecue and the Lions' Fourth of July fireworks show, make the community a special place to be for the holiday, Sandpoint resident Graham Andrews said.

"I would not want to be any other place than Sandpoint in the summertime," Andrews while shopping for fireworks at the Lions' booth tucked into the northwestern corner of the Sandpoint Safeway, 702 N. Fifth Ave.

Andrews said the community's Fourth of July celebration is special and something he loves taking part in.

"There's no other place like it in the world," he said. "This is the best celebration around."

Like Andrews, Carla Yoder and her son Bowen said they love the celebration, from the children's parade to the fireworks show at Sandpoint City Beach.

"Just the whole thing," Yoder said of why she loves the community's Fourth of July celebration. "The festivities, the food, the fireworks. It is just epic."

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(Photo by CAROLINE LOBSINGER)

Faith Brown helps Graham Andrews as he selects fireworks at the Sandpoint Lions fireworks stand. Located in the northwestern corner of the Safeway parking lot, 702 N. Fifth Ave., proceeds will go toward the community fireworks show.

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(Photo by CAROLINE LOBSINGER)

Gina Gregory and Faith Brown wait for customers at the Sandpoint Lions' new fireworks stand. Located in the northwestern corner of the Safeway parking lot, 702 N. Fifth Ave., proceeds will go toward the community fireworks show.