May 15, 2021

Annual Creston fireworks show short on volunteers

Creston’s Fourth of July fireworks show is back this year, but the number of volunteers needed to show the explosions of color are not. After COVID canceled last year’s show, Roger Nurnburg, member of Creston Shooters and president of 10,000 Crestonians which provides the show, said four fireworks shows are planned during the celebration. In year’s past, there had been three shows. However, Nurnburg also said the devastation of the pandemic took something difficult to replace.

“During that time, our shoot team dwindled, lost about five people, and out of 17 people, that really puts a hole in our capabilities.”

Nurnburg’s shoot team, Creston Shooters, has been the group that sets off the fireworks for the annual shows. Nurnburg added that of those five shooters lost, four had retired and one, D. W. Purcell, died in a car accident.

In order to restore those capabilities, SWCC will offer a pyrotechnics class on starting 7:30 a.m. Saturday, May 8 in room 140. The course will be taught by Nurnburg for anyone who wants to become a certified fireworks shooter. The free, all-day class is sponsored by the Creston Pyrotechnics Association (CPA), the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA), J&M Displays and SWCC. People can register by contacting Nurnburg at 641-202-0016 and walk-in registration is also accepted.

“Anyway, we’re kind of in a world of hurt this year for lack of people and that’s the reason why we’re holding a free class,” Nurnburg said.

Nurnburg’s fireworks team has shot for the Olympics, the Super Bowl and the opening sequence for “NCIS: New Orleans.” Nurnburg added he has taught in over 17 states and trained the Louisiana fire marshals approximately four years ago.

Those who take the course will become APA-certified and know how to operate safely controlled explosives. The APA works with the ATF to make sure everyone works in accordance to regulation.

“There’s always more to it than twisting wires, we got to have some background,” Nurnburg said.

Certified pyrotechnics can also join Nurnburg’s outfit, the Creston Shooters, which operates independently from the 10,000 Crestonians. Nurnburg said members have included people from surrounding counties and Nebraska and Missouri. Shooting for the fireworks show is optional for members, but should they do, they are compensated. Membership is free aside from an annual $10 dues payment which is effective their second year.

Aside from the changes due to the pandemic, other facets of the events will pick up where they left off.

“We work on donations, primarily from the business community,” Nurnburg said. “It started out years and years ago, the business community wanted to do the entire support just to invite the entire southwest Iowa area into Creston on that thing.”

Nurnburg’s support does not rely exclusively on the business community, however.

“Since that time, we depend on donations from everywhere, whatever we get donated this year will be next year’s budget,” Nurnburg said. “So, what we’re working on this year is what happened two years ago because of COVID, took us out last year.”