Community generosity makes Stuart fireworks display a reality

It’s official!  Thanks to the generosity of individuals and businesses in the Stuart and Martin County community, Stuart Main Street has received all of the funding necessary to present this year’s Fourth of July Celebration on the waterfront in downtown Stuart’s Flagler Park.

Local businessman Todd Harris of Crown Car Care got the ball rolling last April when he came on as the event’s presenting sponsor. Harris issued a challenge to local businesses to help fund the annual event, which has been threatened by a struggling economy and local government budget cutbacks. Over the past few months, private and corporate contributions have come in steadily, but the group was still short of its fundraising goal. Until this week that is, when Treasure Coast Toyota-Scion of Stuart and Treasure Coast Lexus of Fort Pierce rose to Harris’ challenge, making the final contribution needed to fund the annual celebration.

“The community really dug deep this year to support downtown Stuart and this Fourth of July tradition,” said Stuart Main Street Manager, Thondra Lanese. “Many people are still struggling in this economy, but over thirty individuals and companies contributed to help make this year’s celebration happen.”

The 17th annual “Star Spangled Stuart” kicks off at 4:00 Monday, July 4, in Flagler Park in Downtown Stuart. The celebration features a festival from 4:00-10:00 with food, vendors, and a free children’s area with bounce houses and face painting sponsored by Mulligan’s Beach House. From 4:00-7:00 there will be a special Independence Day Edition of the Downtown Business Association’s popular Rockin’ Riverwalk Music Series featuring the band O.P.M. on the Riverwalk Stage. At 7:00 the Stuart Community Band will perform patriotic music live from the Lyric Flagler Center and broadcast throughout Flagler Park. Martin County’s only Fourth of July fireworks display goes off at 9:00 p.m. from the waterfront off of Flagler Park.

This year’s celebration is coordinated by Stuart Main Street and made possible by generous donations from local businesses and individuals, including: Todd Harris’ Crown Car Care, Treasure Coast Toyota-Scion of Stuart and Treasure Coast Lexus of Fort Pierce “The Family Stores,” Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers, Ron Hart and Earthtones, Southern Eagle Distributing, the City of Stuart Community Redevelopment Agency, the Historic Stuart Downtown Business Association, St. Lucie Medical Center, Bottom’s Up Beverage, Seacoast National Bank, Mulligan’s Beach House Bar and Grill, Florida Power & Light, Wallace Automotive, All Spiced Up, Kilwin’s, Whiticar Boat Works, Captec Engineering, Treasure Coast Multimedia, Stuart Jeweler’s, Matilda’s, Argento Jewelry, Duffy’s Sports Grill, Mark and Marilyn Gravitt, David and Marilyn Jordahl, Julia San Severe, Albert G. Interiors, Caramba!, and the Gauze Shop. In addition, the organization received many anonymous donations from private individuals.