Fireworks to return to North Collins

NORTH COLLINS — Fireworks over Fricano is coming back to North Collins for the first time in the 21st century. The fireworks will light the sky on June 30 at the Marion Fricano Town Park on Route 62, where proceeds will go to the North Collins Veterans’ Tribute.

“We are looking to do our first fireworks event since the Strawberry Festival; I think they used to do fireworks then,” North Collins Town Supervisor John Tobia said. “That’s way before my time. We tried the Fourth of July, but the Fourth of July is booked by everybody.

“… We are probably going to go — time hasn’t been decided yet but — we are probably going to go 4:30 p.m. and fireworks go off at 10 p.m. We will have music, live band, we will probably have games: volleyball, kickball.”

There will be one food truck and currently, the North Collins Community Team is looking at the possibility of adding other options. The community team organized the event as, Tobia said, Brandi LoBianco spearheaded the effort.

North Collins has lost a plethora of events over the past decade that include the Strawberry Fest as well as Winterfest and other local efforts. In the past few years, North Collins has honed in a National Night Out event as well as Fall Fest — now named Love North Collins — a Christmas parade and now fireworks.

“People can stay home now; you don’t have to travel,” Tobia said of the fireworks. “You can stay right here, at home in North Collins, that we all love, and be with friends and family. Invite your family to come over, you can have a barbecue at the house. Or better yet, you can come down to the park, buy some food, sit with other community members and enjoy games, fireworks and live music.”

Tobia and those around him in North Collins are giving community members local shows and events. The impact is more than a one-day thing. With the Fall Festival, the North Collins School District created a marching band, which used to be a strength to the district.

Tobia sees energy coming into North Collins as well as activities.

“It means that we are alive, we are growing,” he said. “People are getting exciting about the community that we live in and that no town is better than our town. People are owning where they live again. This is our community, our home. Do you want to make it happy or a sad place? Let’s make it a happy place. Why not enjoy fireworks, why not enjoy Christmas parades?”

Tobia added that he spoke to those privy to the former events. He believes that those events faded or lost organizers that ran it. Other catalysts to the festivals’ departures include alcohol and the loss of family fun.

With the new events, Tobia said that the money is off the town’s hands and by the vendors themselves. There is no focus on alcohol and the fun comes at no price.

“We are not doing anything different. We are bringing things back that people enjoyed years ago,” Tobia said.