April 19, 2014

Chamber President issues statement concerning Christmas Fireworks

The Heard Citizen received numerous inquiries from citizens over the past few weeks asking about the unused fireworks from the 4th of July that were promised to be used at tonight’s Christmas Parade.

“We decided to shoot only those fireworks deemed safe and we will use the remaining fireworks at our Christmas celebration in December,” said Chamber President Kathy Knowles after July’s rainy event on the square.

Knowles responded with a requested statement to the Heard Citizen via email Thursday afternoon about the decision on the fireworks:

The Chattahoochee Christmas event is a community-based committee consisting of members from several local government agencies including City of Franklin, Heard County, Heard Co. Development Authority, Extension Service, Water Authority, Franklin PD, Heard EMA, Heard Sheriff’s Dept., Heard Chamber and numerous individuals.

The committee is spearheaded by the City of Franklin but your comments have targeted the Chamber and you have requested that the Chamber make a statement regarding there not being fireworks at the Christmas event so this is that statement.

Earlier in the planning process there was a distinct possibility that Heard High would be playing in state playoffs, and there continued to be the possibility of inclement weather. We learned that it is safe to store the type fireworks we previously weren’t able to shoot. Since donations fund the fireworks, committee members, local governments, and donors try to be frugal and get the most ‘bang’ for our fireworks’ bucks.

With the cost of the fireworks and the possibility of having to cancel or reschedule the event, committee members and our funders were polled as to whether to include the fireworks or to save them for next July when fireworks would be more appreciated and appropriate.

Based on the exhorbitant costs of these fireworks (average of $8K to $10K) in the current economy and a distinct possibility of a low turnout for previously mentioned reasons, it was decided by the committee and the funders, not the Chamber, to save them. We apologize to anyone who is disappointed.

We’ve decorated the square and scheduled vendors, DJs, etc. so that everyone can begin their holiday fun. We hope that everyone will come out, with their slickers and umbrellas if necessary, and enjoy the Christmas parade, crafts, food and music. We hope they’ll come again in July when we will add to our current stash and weather permitting, provide our usual fireworks extravaganza.

We invite anyone who is interested in helping us to improve any of our events to get involved; come to committee meetings, man a booth on the 4th of July, hang Christmas lights in December, raise funds or make donations, source entertainment, order school supplies. You can help decorate for or have a trunk at the Trunk or Treat.

You can help us watch a radar for days and decide whether to cancel or reschedule an event that potentially costs vendors hundreds in lost supplies and profits in order to avoid endangering the safety of visitors. You can help us answer to a disappointed public when we do have to reschedule.  Better yet, maybe you can figure out how to control the weather better than we’ve been able to.

We have lots of room for improvement and we’d love to have more help improving and more understanding for things we can’t control, whether it’s budget or weather. And again, we apologize to anyone who is disappointed and we appreciate your understanding. At this time, the committee has decided the Chattahoochee ‘Storybook Christmas’ is a go.

Kathy Knowles
Heard Chamber President




  1. Would have been a good statement without the horrible attitude towards then end. Pretty disappointed with that. I will say, Heard County has always put on an awesome fire works show. I usually still drive out to see it verses the carrollton show. But she clearly missed Russ’s point. No one is saying that they should have done them. But they should have been more forthcoming with the people via media outlets like the heard citizen from the beginning.

  2. There is no need for the attitude toward the end of this statement. I clearly understand the actions being taken, especially due to todays economy. But the very rude comments at the end of her statement were completely unnescessary.

  3. I see it like this it’s not a big thing but don’t sit there and say your going to do something and not do it your word is all you have.

  4. red montgomery says:

    I say, Give everyone a break. Kathy Knowles is under intense pressure and things are not going as planned again. LET THEM VENT SOME PRESSURE! You will see the smiles today, I am sure. BUT THEY MUST WORK WITH RUSS cause he is our vent and source of KNOWLEDGE. thanks, red

  5. There is no reason to cop an attitude about people wondering about the fireworks when she made the statement they would be used at Christmas time. If she doesn’t like the duties of her job (she listed them), then maybe she should find another one.

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