Chamber raises $2,500 Friday in "Fund the Fireworks' drive

 This year's Fourth of July fireworks show is going to be louder and longer, thanks to generous donations from the community and local businesses that are pitching in to sponsor the show.

That was the word from Taft Chamber of Commerce Special events coordinator Shannon Jones after a successful fundraiser on Friday.

“Thank you to everyone who donated to the 'Fund the Fireworks' on Friday, May 2.  We raised over $2,500 to go towards the fireworks for the Fourth of July,” Jones said.

Jones and others, including community volunteers and Kern County firefighters, collected donations at Fourth and Kern Friday.

Thanks to those donations – and the businesses – its going to be a big blowout for the Fourth.

“The fireworks are going to be bigger and a longer show this year,” Jones said.

Among the business sponsors that are chipping in are Dr. Tang, Fastrip Food Store #929, McKittrick Waste Management, Snow Well Services, Inc., Occidental of Elk Hills, Braun Electric Company, Inc., Hall Ambulance, Jerry Melton & Sons, Pizza Factory, Oildale Tire, Westside Furniture, Advanced Industrial Services, Colston Construction, City of Taft, Aera, Chevron, Huddleston Crane, and Linn Energy.

Huddleston Crane's Dave Noerr is going to add something extra to bring in the bigger booms. He's chipping in the money to pay for a five five-inch diameter shells, 25 percent bigger that the four-inch mortars used in previous years.

The chamber if planning another fundraiser in June, Jones said.