To the Buckeye Lake Community:
BLASST’s Board has struggled with this decision for months. While it is a difficult decision to cancel BLASST’s annual July 3 show, it is our only option given current conditions both on and around the lake.
Public viewing areas are extremely limited since the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has fenced off most of the parks around the lake. All of Lieb’s Island State Park is off-limits as is large portions of Brooks, Fairfield Beach and North Shore parks. Parking is very limited.
The nearly 400 dam-front residences have lost their front yards. Though the spillway gate was finally closed last Thursday morning, we will not be able to reach a lake level to support even minimal safe boating by early July.
We have a responsibility to be wise stewards of the hundreds of donations given to BLASST each year. It would be irresponsible to spend even $20,000 on a smaller show when there are so few safe or legally accessible viewing areas. We are also concerned about the potential liability of creating an “attractive nuisance” when we know that your fireworks show might encourage residents and visitors to breach fences and other restricted areas.
A July BLASST show would also reinforce the already too prominent misconception that it’s back to normal at Buckeye Lake. We do not want to attract visitors to your show only for them to discover that there’s nowhere to view it or even park their vehicle.
No one likes to shut down a party or a celebration. We’re hoping – if Mother Nature blesses us with a wetter than normal summer – to postpone it until Labor Day weekend. Hamburg Fireworks, our fantastic fireworks producer, is holding that time for us. The show will go on if there is enough water to support safe boating over most of the lake. That decision will have to be made by early August.
Thanks for your support and understanding. Pray for rain!
Victoria Wolfe, CEO
Tim Figgins, Member
Charles Prince, Member
Terry Dupler, Forever Honorary Board Member
P.S. We will be not be soliciting donations this year. First, we are not comfortable asking for donations when we are uncertain whether we can safely put on a show this year. Secondly, we recognize that many of our long-time business supporters are still struggling. If conditions allow for a Labor Day weekend show, it will be a smaller show and we will fund it out of our reserves. Some faithful supporters have already sent in contributions. We will be checking with you to see if we should return your checks or accept them for future shows. Thanks again for your support!