Kiwanis Club celebrating 45 years of 4th of July fireworks

Kiwanis Club celebrating 45 years of 4th of July fireworks

Kiwanis Club celebrating 45 years of 4th of July fireworks
July 02
17:23 2017

For the past 45 years, the Kiwanis Fireworks show has been one of Denton’s most recognizable 4th of July fireworks show.

The 4th of July fireworks show is the Denton Kiwanis Club’s largest fundraiser of the year, and has been continuously since 1972. They expect every year to be bigger and better than the last.

“It has been a terrific family event for generations of Dentonites,” said Hank Dickenson, UNT Deputy Athletic Director and Kiwanis member. “Kiwanis sponsors a free show, capping off a holiday weekend and a truly spectacular celebration of freedom on Independence Day.”

The fireworks show has been held in Apogee Stadium since 2012. Prior to then, the show was hosted at Fouts Field in Denton.

Dickenson, who has been the coordinator since 2001, said that his long tenure inside UNT’s athletic department has made him a good fit to organize the show.

“We rely heavily on the staff of the [UNT] athletic department to make sure the event is a success.” Dickenson, 53, said.

For years, the Denton Kiwanis Club sponsors have insisted the firework show to be free for the public. However, parking is a different story. The fireworks show only charges patrons a $10 parking fee if they choose to park.

“It’s a free show that benefits charity [solely] through patrons paying for parking,” Alpha Graphics account manager Dionna Charles, 36, said.

The Denton Kiwanis Club’s primary focus is support of the Denton Kiwanis Children’s Clinic. The clinic is a network of dentists, doctors and pharmacists who provide free medical and dental services to the children of Denton County. These children tend to come from economically challenged environments.

In addition, The Denton Kiwanis Club supports the community in other capacities, such as scholarships aimed at Denton’s youth.

These accomplishments are made financially possible due to partnerships with The City of Denton, UNT, UNT Athletics and corporate sponsors each year.

All of the proceeds from the fireworks show go directly towards supporting the children’s clinic and other service projects throughout the year.

Aside from the fourth of July fireworks show, the Denton Kiwanis Club also puts on “The Taste of North Texas,” another fundraiser that provides activities for the Denton community.

“This year, [The Taste of North Texas] netted $20,000 that will go to the Children’s Clinic,” Charles said.

The Taste of North Texas is the Denton Kiwanis Club’s second largest fundraiser.

“Our membership is comprised of business people, educators, city and county leaders and others.” said Robin Meyer, the Executive Secretary for Denton Kiwanis Club. “There are many streets and schools within the [community] that are named after current or [now] deceased club members.”

Meyer, who has been a member of the club for 17 years, is also a District Trustee and one of the 4th of July parade float coordinators.

Meyer said that she does a lot of “behind the scenes” work during the Kiwanis 4th of July show. She encourages everyone to attend the show this year for the entertainment aspect as well as the positive benefits the show provides for the community.

“We have live local bands that play several hours before the fireworks begin, a children’s fun zone, concessions available for purchase and plenty of clean restrooms in addition to a great view of the fireworks,” Meyer said. “We provide a fantastic, free firework show for everyone to enjoy and the proceeds benefit the youth of Denton and northern Denton County.”

Featured Image:  The Kiwanis Club has held a fireworks show at Apogee Stadium every fourth of July since 2012. Courtesy | Ed Steele

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Nina Quatrino

Nina Quatrino

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