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Mercer Island Kiwanis firework stand opens for business June 28
The Mercer Island Kiwanis annual fireworks stand has been a Fourth of July fixture on the Island for almost as long as anyone can remember.
The 2012 edition opens for business on Thursday, June 28.
The stand, which is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. through July 4, has been around, in one form or another for the past 40 years, run each summer by the Kiwanis. Jim Baker, a long time member of the club, said at one point they operated two stands this time of year – one on the South end, another at the North end. The money raised goes to various Island organizations.
"We have a much better selection this year," said Baker. "We have some absolutely beautiful fireworks. They did a preview for us and it was amazing. Everything here is safe and sane."
Tuesday, June 16 a crew of seven volunteers showed up to set up the stand, and Wednesday another group of nine people – largely Kiwanis members and other volunteers – stocked the shelves with hundreds of fireworks.
"On the fifth we'll come back and tack it all down and load it back into the trailer," said Baker. "We clean it up and the street, every night before we shut down."
The Kiwanis, which got help this year from a chapter in Kirkland, as well as the Mercer Island Masonic Temple, hopes to bring in several thousand dollars.
"We hope to bring in $6,000 to $8,000 in fireworks," said Baker. "Its our biggest fundraiser of the year."
Money from the firework sales goes to a variety of places, like the Boys & Girls Club, Mercer Island Preschool Association's annual Circus, Mercer Island Special Olympics, Shakespeare in the Park, the Mercer Island Parks & Rec Fun Mobile, as well as scholarships for high school students, and more.
Fireworks at the stand are only sold to those over 16 years of age.
The City of Mercer Island allows fireworks to used legally only on the Fourth of July.