Despite many Roughrider Days events moving to the new Stark County Fairgrounds south of Dickinson next summer, Fatty Heinz wanted to make sure the Fourth of July fireworks display remained in town.
So did Dickinson State University President Tom Mitzel.
For the past few weeks, DSU and the Roughrider Commission have been working at finding a way to keep the display on the university’s campus.
The fireworks have long been set off at the rodeo grounds. But that’s no longer possible with the rodeo moving to the new fairgrounds and the former arena transitioning to the site of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library.
“We wanted to keep it centrally located, in the town,” said Heinz, the Roughrider Commission’s fireworks committee chair. “It’s more easier for people.”
Heinz said the Roughrider Commission is required by law to be about 420 feet away from the nearest building when shooting their fireworks.
He said it’s likely the fireworks committee will set up on the DSU football practice field next Fourth of July, as it’s the most open place on campus and would keep the display relatively close to where people are used to watch it at.
“I’m pumped up about Dr. Mitzel helping us keep the fireworks in town,” Heinz said in a press release. “I cannot express how good this is for the city of Dickinson. We’re very thankful to have had such a great working relationship with DSU and we hope that continues.”
Mitzel added that DSU is “more than excited to continue our partnership” with the Roughrider Commission.
Heinz, who is also the chair of the Roughrider Commission’s carnival committee, said a location for the carnival is still being discussed and could have a location soon. The carnival has also most recently been held near the old rodeo arena.
Heinz said he’s like for the carnival to remain on DSU’s campus as well, since he understands most carnival-goers would rather stay in town then drive to the fairgrounds. However, he said the Roughrider Days concert will move to the new arena and grandstands at the fairgrounds.