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  • Writer's pictureShelby

Seeing Fireworks on Blind Dates

Years ago if you just shift the screen to the right, you'd see a very similar picture. It's funny how things change and then again they stay the same. It's even more humorous, how quickly we forget where we've been and how we arrived at the point we are today. This firework show, over 15 years in the running, has been a part of our community each and every 3rd of July. We've been accustomed to making our independence day celebration better every year, while helping elktonians celebrate a day early every summer. The crazy thing is, it all started with two guys who worked through their teen years and college-aged summers side by side at the Chevron Gas station. Long before The Todd County Judicial Center made it's appearance, there was a Chevron Gas station pumping gas right by the road in its place.

The old Chevron is where Johnny met Missy for a blind date set up by Dana Grace, at the time. It's also where Johnny and Missy would later introduce Dana to George. Establishing relationships that would love and serve the community of Elkton, Ky at a gas station is unlikely, but even more unlikely, setting off fireworks outback. I guess seeing fireworks on blind dates is what started this mega show.

Can you imagine the danger of setting off explosive fireworks from the rear of a gas station, I'm sure some older lady did, but George and Johnny pressed into the optimum danger. So from the gas station, they moved to the park for more room. It is crazy when two guys get together and do something crazy enough for a community to rally behind them, and that's just what Elkton did. Each year the crowd grew bigger, drawing in help from Russellville friends and family. When the day came that the park was too small for the almost 2,000 people who came to see the show, the high school was the only other option. The Alma mater of every guy on the football field made the perfect upgrade. I can still remember picking every piece of cardboard debris off the football field in the pouring rain after the show finished. Believe it or not, the football stadium wasn't big enough, but the baseball field had more acreage for seating, so a few steps away we moved.

There are thousands of people who travel from surrounding counties and states every July 3rd, relatives from out of state, friends from wide open spaces, and the fellow neighbors we do life with every day. They all come together for a free firework show to support local non profits, and community minded businesses alike. To think it all started with a blind date, that led to a decision to build a family in Elkton, which led to a lesson we can all learn; sometimes the craziest dreams survive in the most unlikely environments. So dear friend, dare to dream, dare to be brave in your own small town, regardless what the few may say about what will and won't work.

After all, you're only one blind date away from a great firework show, or the rest of your life.

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