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KINGSTON — Pete DeBoer had a dynamite idea last winter, one that could help fund raising for this year’s Fourth of July event be less of a near-explosive disaster like in years past.

After struggling with money for Kingston’s July 4 fireworks last year, and finding that other community groups were having the same problem for their holiday activities, DeBoer decided cohesion was needed for the Little City by the Sea’s biggest annual production.

Instead of several organizations individually asking businesses to help pay for the community’s fireworks, parade, music and Tiny Town, it will all be done this year under the umbrella of “The Committees of the Kingston 4th of July Celebration.”

While there will still be committees for each element of the event, the fusion of the groups as a whole will make it easier to organize in terms of insurance and funding, DeBoer said.

“The real reason to do it is to give it some real organization and some insurance aspect,” he said.

DeBoer will be organizing the fireworks, Annemarie Olson will be lining up the music and entertainment at Mike Wallace Memorial Park, Karen Ross and Bev Pierce will be organizing the parade and Pierce and Debbie Anderson will be managing Tiny Town.

“We are staying away from the beer garden in the park because we want to make that place a family thing,” DeBoer added.

He spearheaded the effort last winter to develop the non-profit corporation, which now has insurance to cover all the events, plus the fund-raising activities, such as car washes and pancake breakfasts.

“Everyone thinks it’s really neat,” he said. “The chamber is behind me 100 percent.”

Kingston’s Independence Day celebration costs approximately $35,000, which includes $14,000 for fireworks, about $9,000-$10,000 for entertainment and $1,100 for insurance.

DeBoer has established incentives for those interested in being major sponsors, including a seat at the Kingston Cove Yacht Club and a precious downtown parking spot for the fireworks.

DeBoer said he discovered last year that the groups would approach businesses at different times and seek financial assistance. While several of the more established businesses were used to this process, newer business owners were largely confused.

Donors can still fund whatever they want, DeBoer explained. People who like the parade and music but not the fireworks can designate their money for just the parade and music. Or the folks who like watching the fireworks from their home but don’t like to come into town for it can designate their money only to the display.

So far, J.P. Patches, rock ‘n’ roll band Junior Cadillac, tribute singer Randy Linder and local band Been There, Done That are expected to perform, but Olson is still looking for sponsors for the acts.

As for other Kingston Fourth of July events, production is already in the works for the Greater Kingston Kiwanis parade buttons, with this year’s logo designed by Kingston Junior High student Lynley McKeel. DeBoer also plans to produce two kinds of hats.

“I think it would be cool to have a hat-button combination,” he said.

For more information or to donate, call DeBoer at (360) 649-1806 or Olson at (360) 621-6200.

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