The fireworks are back, and they aren't going away any time soon
The Benson family takes the field to introduce the fireworks July 3, 2016, at Morton West.
© Photo by Mark Benson
By Ken Manson, MySuburbanLife.com
BERWYN – An Independence Day fireworks show is a very patriotic celebration and brings the community together, says Tom Benson, owner of the World’s Largest Laundromat in Berwyn.
“It’s a good community event for everyone to participate in,” Benson said, explaining why his business is sponsoring the return of fireworks to Berwyn since seven years ago.
The show will be July 3 on the football field of Morton West High School, 2400 Home Ave. Admission is free. Parking is available in the Morton West lot.
The ceremony starts at 8:30 p.m. with members of the Combined Veterans of Berwyn marching into the stadium along with Boy and Girl Scouts and members of soccer, Little League and baseball teams, said Ruth Volbre, assistant city administrator. A bugler will accompany a flag-raising ceremony.
A 20-minute fireworks display, accompanied by a soundtrack, is expected to start at 9 p.m.
The Morton Booster Club will sell concession items.
The North Berwyn and Berwyn park districts, along with the city, also are sponsoring the event, Volbre said. Berwyn firefighters and police officers will be present as well.
Some 2,000 to 3,000 people are expected to attend, Benson said.
Benson said his son Mark – also his business manager – came up with the idea for the fireworks display as part of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the business reopening the first week of January 2006 after the building at 6246 Cermak Road was destroyed in an August 2004 fire. Tom Benson previously told Suburban Life the fire was caused by faulty wiring connected to a dryer.
An anniversary celebration took place Jan. 17.
Benson said the more they looked at his son’s idea, the more practical it seemed.
“We’re very thankful to the city and residents for the support they gave us,” the Oak Park resident said.
Benson said he is providing $15,000 for the show; the two park districts, $2,000 each; and the Berwyn Recreation Department, $1,000, for $20,000 total.
It was not necessary for the three governmental bodies to throw in their money, but the extra $5,000 will ”make for a better show,” he said.
The fireworks show was cut for budgetary reasons, Volbre said. The last fireworks show was July 4, 2009, and was sponsored by the city and North Berwyn Park District, city fire officials said.
The laundromat will sponsor the fireworks display every year, Benson said, adding it would not be fair to the city to keep doing the event without financial support.