By Irene Luck - June 2020
Nothing signals summer like the sound of fireworks exploding in the dark, whether it’s small bursts in your backyard or spectacular pyrotechnics such as the Lake Anna Civic Association’s annual fireworks shoot.
The 23rd edition of the Lake Anna Fireworks Show is scheduled for Saturday, July 4 beginning at dusk, approximately 9:15 p.m., with a rain date of the following Saturday.
Funded entirely by donations from the community and businesses around the lake, the annual Independence Day celebration draws oohs and aahs from the assembled boats and spectators who have gathered around Dike 2 to enjoy the approximately 30-minute show.
While there is limited visibility and no public access from the land to watch the show, hundreds of boats begin to congregate on both sides of the dike well before dark, socializing with old friends and making new ones as they prepare to celebrate the July 4th holiday.
The LACA fireworks committee, led by Mike May and shoot coordinator Ken Sadel, along with a core group of volunteers starts preparing for the event about 12 hours earlier on Saturday morning setting up the tubes into which the pyrotechnics are loaded along the dike and then assisting the shooter with loading the fireworks and attaching the firing apparatus.
Should inclement weather be a factor, the committee needs to decide by noon whether to move forward are push the shoot to the next weekend because it takes several hours to load all the explosives and once they are loaded they must be shot.
Mother Nature has smiled on the event over the years and, despite a few drizzly evenings and a passing thunderstorm or two causing a short delay in the start, the show has gone on.
Zambelli International has provided the fireworks for the show each year and spectators have claimed it to be comparable to shoots in Washington, D.C. and other larger locations.
Guidelines for viewing the shoot are included in the solicitation letters mailed to property owners and businesses around the lake. Boaters should stay at least 300 feet from the dike to prevent injury or damage from falling embers. Remember to use proper lights on the boat when anchored. When returning home after the shoot, use running lights and be cautious about fellow boaters heading home as well. The lake does get crowded as boats head back uplake and the wakes can be quite large with all the boats leaving at one time. If you are not in a hurry to get home, enjoy the evening and let some of the traffic disperse before starting back to your dock.
Since the shoot is funded entirely through donations and no LACA money is used, the committee estimates that $30,000 is needed to put on the shoot. Donations can be mailed to LACA Fireworks, P.O. Box 217, Mineral, VA 23117 or made online here.