Even without a live show, the Falmouth Fireworks Committee will celebrate its 40th anniversary.
“The patriotism that has been displayed in these shows has been amazing, and it is a great feeling when you’re standing in the ball fields at Falmouth Heights and see hundreds of American flags flying,” said Karen Rinaldo, secretary for the Falmouth Fireworks Committee. “I’m getting choked up just thinking about it. It is one of those images that stays with you forever, whether you go one time to the Heights or you go every year. It is just an amazing, amazing feeling.”
The committee aims to capture that feeling in “A Patriotic Tribute: Falmouth Fireworks Celebrates 40 Years,” a book chronicling the history of the Falmouth Fireworks.
“The inspiration was brought to us by the community when we would be out selling shirts,” Ms. Rinaldo said. “Every year, people would come forth and would buy another or buy some for friends, and would remark how nice it would be to have a collection of all the years in book form.”
The 76-page book does just that, collecting 30 years of T-shirt designs, a historical retrospective on the fireworks, a tribute to veterans and a selection of patriotic verses, including some poems by Katharine Lee Bates. The $20 book will be available by the end of July at the Gallery on Main and the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce. The committee is working to make it available at local stores as well.
“It’s an energy, it’s a feeling, and I don’t think you can look at the book without getting goosebumps,” Ms. Rinaldo said. “It is one of those things, it makes you very proud, and it carries that feeling of patriotism that is so needed.”
The funds will support the Falmouth Fireworks Committee’s ongoing efforts. Describing the group as a “12-month committee,” chairwoman Carolyn J. Woods said the group is using merchandise sales to prepare for its 2021 show.
“We’re not having the show this year, but we need to start our fundraising now for next year because we don’t know what the restrictions will be for fundraising,” Ms. Woods said.
Ms. Rinaldo said that if not for the virus, members of the Falmouth Fireworks Committee would have been at local markets this week, selling merchandise and fundraising. The organization is still selling merchandise at the Gallery on Main and the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce. New this year is the Falmouth Fireworks face mask. Available in blue or white, the $10 mask features five exploding fireworks above the text “Falmouth Fireworks 2020.”
“We had to be a little creative in how we fundraise and where we fundraise, so the mask was perfect because everyone has to wear a mask,” Ms. Woods said. “It is a way of giving back to the community and us at the same time.”
Those interested in purchasing a mask can contact Ms. Rinaldo at 508-566-6318.
“The masks, they don’t define us, they don’t define the world, but they are defining our time,” Ms. Rinaldo said.
The committee is also selling $40 long-sleeve T-shirts, $40 sweatshirts and $20 hats. Unlike prior years, the group is not selling a short-sleeve T-shirt.
“Falmouth Cares has a shirt, it has a very nice design, and they’re selling their shirts,” Ms. Rinaldo said. “We aren’t selling shirts, so it’s their time to have their cause be so well-represented and not have any conflict.”
The Falmouth Fireworks Committee contributed $1,000 to Falmouth Cares, a group working to assist those adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Money raised through Falmouth Cares T-shirt sales will be donated to the Falmouth Service Center and Belonging to Each Other.
The committee also aims to bring a show to the Falmouth community. In prior years, between 75,000 and 100,000 people have watched the Falmouth Fireworks live in Falmouth Heights. While there will be no live show this year, there will be a digital display. Tomorrow at 9 PM, Falmouth Community Television will broadcast “Salute to America,” a 20-minute fireworks presentation created by Steve Pelkey of the Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group for the 2018 Da Nang International Fireworks Competition. It will be followed by footage of the 2015 Falmouth Fireworks show from the FCTV archives.
“We didn’t want the public to go without a fireworks presentation, and virtual was the next best thing,” Ms. Rinaldo said.
Ms. Woods said the presentation will also be broadcast on Bourne Community Television and Mashpee Local Access Television.
“We’ve actually worked hard, if not harder, these past few months to bring you a virtual show,” she said. “Because we’re like everyone else, we’re trying things in a new way. This is all new.”
The Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group has conducted the annual Falmouth Fireworks show since 1989.
“The annual celebration has been one of the greatest highlights in my personal and professional career in pyrotechnics,” Mr. Pelkey said. “Over the last 30-plus years, I have not only had the pleasure of designing the fireworks displays, but I have been in charge of setting them off for the last 15 years.”
Ms. Rinaldo said, “The patriotism that has been displayed in these shows has been amazing.”
Ms. Woods thanked the community for its continued support of the Falmouth Fireworks, particularly during these challenging times.
“At first, when we canceled the show, we thought we’d have people who were going to be mad at us,” she said. “We have not heard one negative. The community has been strong and, through this whole thing, understanding.”