4th 2

Fourth of July 2014. Photo: Diane Deming

It started out with bottle rockets and firecrackers 15 years ago. Each year it expanded.  Now it has grown into a really big show, and Clark Lake is the audience. Evelyn Menard and her family provide a major fireworks display from their Ocean Beach stage for all of Clark Lake to enjoy each Fourth of July. Evelyn has had a life long love of fireworks. According to her daughter, Karen, her mother is “91 but you would never know it.”  The display takes place this Saturday evening at dusk.

Some think that this impressive show rivals Brooklyn’s fireworks. And it takes a team dedicated to the event to pull it off. The group effort includes Evelyn’s sons Tim and John;  grandsons Dave, Tim Jr., Shane and in-law Ray Westover.

Karen says their dock is the launching pad, and each member of the Menard fireworks team have a role to play.  Reveille and the National Anthem signal the beginning of the show as all voices join in with the patriotic soundtrack provided by Dave. The first fireworks in the air are the pin wheels, set up in a line, with one firing the next–John and Shane.  The pinwheels lead to the show of one awesome display after another–Tim, Tim Jr., and Ray.

The finale is not to be missed. Included are displays with these descriptions—Five Piece X9s, Crackling Brocade, Silver Glitter, and Special FX.

Each year the family travels south on 127 to Phantom Fireworks in Fayette, Ohio to stock up. And every Fourth, they add more to the show. In fireworks parlance, this year’s bundle is 60 “cakes” or pieces.

Karen comments “Our mom is so special and so loved by many.  She certainly likes to have fun, and 4th of July is her favorite.”  She adds “And fun might be the key to her longevity.”

The family loves fireworks.  And so does Clark Lake.  Speaking for the Menard’s, Karen says it’s “our gift to the community.”