Pandemic can’t stop fireworks show, grillout

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Although Independence Day revelers will have to wait for the return of Templeton’s traditional street dance, games and beer garden, there still will be a lot of boom, crackle and sizzle, plus good food to enjoy on Friday night.

Templeton yearly jump-starts the holiday celebration, as the parish and community’s volunteer fire department hold events on July 3. The parish organizes the deejay-music street dance, kids’ and adults’ games, and concessions, while the fire department puts on the fireworks show. However, the coronavirus pandemic forced the parish to call off its activities this year.

“We couldn’t find a way to have it safely,” said Joe Behrens, who’s one of the parish’s directors.

He continued, “Since it is Sacred Heart Parish, we have to follow the (Catholic Diocese of Sioux City’s) guidelines, and through their rules they haven’t allowed parishes to have any of those types of functions, which is certainly understandable. So it’s a tough year for a lot of events.”

Behrens estimated Templeton’s celebration draws a couple of thousand or more people each year.

There still is good reason to come to town Friday to celebrate, though, said Behrens, who’s also a member of the fire department and a loan officer at Templeton Savings Bank.

The fire department will be grilling burgers and hot dogs at the ballpark from 7 to 10 p.m, and meals will be available for freewill donations.

The fireworks show promises to be a spectacular attraction again this year, Behrens said.

The fire department funds the show primarily with year-round donations of redeemable cans and bottles at a collection site near the water tower. Some community groups also make donations.

Every year, a couple of the firefighters take a fireworks training course to earn certification. The fireworks now are all electronically operated, and the pyrotechnics get more and more spectacular, Behrens noted.

“We try to improve a little bit every year, try to change it up a little bit every year,” he said of the shows.

The show will begin at dusk south of the ballpark. Those who attend are asked to observe social distancing and other health guidelines.

Postponement of the street dance, games and concessions is a loss to the parish since the celebration — this would have been 36th annual — since it has been a successful fundraiser over the years, bolstering the budget and also helping with some capital projects.

“July 3 has been our night. We’ve been real successful with it for a long time. … Hopefully by next year we’re through this emergency and everybody can gather together again and get back to normal,” Behrens said.

Lessening that setback, the raffle that’s annually part of the celebration still is being held. Tickets are $25 apiece, with a chance to win the $500 grand prize or one of the many other cash prizes, gift certificates, beef and pork certificates, and gift baskets from businesses. Tickets are available from parishioners, at Templeton Savings Bank or by calling the parish office in Breda at 712-673-2582.

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