After a hiatus last summer, a group of volunteers hopes to bring fireworks back to Rolesville for the Fourth of July.
Gejuan Sweat Batson and Paul Vilga are leading a group in an effort to raise $15,000 to fund an Independence Day celebration in the town.
So far, the group has raised slightly more than $4,000, Vilga said. He said this year’s celebration will likely cost about $10,000, but the group is hoping to raise extra to carry over to the following year’s celebration.
“We want to make sure there’s not a time when we won’t have a celebration again,” Vilga said.
Rolesville began having Fourth of July celebrations in the early 1990s, said Town Manager Bryan Hicks. Over the years, organization of the event has been handed off from committees to the chamber of commerce and to the town.
But it’s tough for the town to handle such an expensive and time-consuming event. Last year, the town was unable to plan the event because there weren’t enough staff members to spare, Hicks said.
“We do not have the manpower to do it,” he said. “We rely on volunteers.”
Vilga and Batson have partnered with S&W Productions, a Wake Forest-based fireworks company, for this year’s event. The group is also working with local military organizations to plan the event with “more of a military feel to it,” Vilga said.
Batson is a retired Naval officer, and Vilga’s grandfather was a Navy veteran.
Besides having a new focus on the military, Vilga said the event will be like past celebrations in the town, with vendors and activities.
Vilga, who has lived in Rolesville for three years, said having a Fourth of July celebration was important to him as a father of four.
“It’s something that I always thought we could share with our family,” he said. “You want to pass on as a family event, as something you all attend together, something they’ll remember.”
Vilga and Batson are considering organizing a celebration for years to come.
“You put time and effort into it, so it probably will be something we continue to do year after year,” Vilga said.
Hicks said it’s important for the town to celebrate Independence Day.
“The Fourth of July event has been a community foundation for many years,” he said.
Want to help?
▪ Contribute recipes to a cookbook, “A Taste of Rolesville.” Recipes can be emailed, with a photo, to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 31, 2015.
▪ Donate money through a GoFundMe campaign at at www.gofundme.com/rolesville4th.
▪ PDQ of Wake Forest will host various spirit nights in June. Diners should let employees know they are there to support Rolesville’s Fourth of July celebration. The restaurant is located at 11690 Northpark Drive, Wake Forest.
▪ Find other fundraisers at www.facebook.com/rolesville4th.