Saturday was a demonstration of Lehigh’s close community and independent spirit, Mayor Mike Geiman said.
Geiman presents a fireworks display every Independence Day as a patriotic event and reminder of Lehigh’s independent spirit. In the past, Lehigh was one of the few places in Marion County that allowed fireworks, he said.
At the end of the night, after residents had their fill of food, fireworks, and fun, guests demonstrated their community pride and cleaned up Main Street.
“You don’t have to ask people to help,” Geiman said. “They just do.”
He began providing the parties 16 years ago, which started as a family gathering. The events have grown through the years, and since becoming mayor, Geiman tries to invite everyone in town.
The party featured big aerial displays around 1997, but after a couple of close calls, when some fireworks burst too low and showered guests with sparks, Geiman scaled back to retail fireworks.
Geiman said he couldn’t have the party without help. Donors help pay for fireworks, and volunteers cook dinner and launch the fireworks, he said.
He tries to schedule the party the day before or after July 4th, so guests can go to family events and other displays, but Saturday was the best day.
“Our crowd was a little smaller than usual, 75 or 80,” he said.