Pewaukee fireworks; 2023 display saved by Waukesha Gun Club donation

Connecting bangs to booms… A gun club has stepped in to save Pewaukee's Independence Day fireworks.

 The Waukesha Gun Club stepped in and donated $10,000. That pushed the total budget for the 4th of July show to $36,000 – making it the community's largest fireworks display ever. 

The Waukesha Gun Club has been around for 87 years. Last month, the gun club's president saw an opportunity for members to do something louder.

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"It happens, I watch FOX6 every morning," said Patrick Gerbensky, Waukesha Gun Club President. "We happen to see you talking about it on TV that they were looking for a sponsor."

Waukesha Gun Club

Patrick Gerbensky

In May, FOX6 News reported Pewaukee's 4th of July fireworks might have to be dramatically scaled back because of a lack of cash. The show's price tag was $30,000. 

"Part of the reason it’s so expensive is that we do fire from barges," said Bob Rohde, Friends of the Parks of Pewaukee President.

Bob Rohde

The show needed three barges. The gun club took aim at the challenge – becoming the event's main sponsor with a $10,000 donation.

"Which not only put us over where we needed to be for our goal but also we’re able to expand the fireworks by adding another barge," Rohde said. "We’re hoping the Waukesha Gun Club will be our partners for years to come."

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Organizers say it will be the biggest fireworks show ever – a promise that will no doubt please the thousands planning to flock to the lake on Independence Day. 

"We want to make sure the grand finale is the biggest and the loudest that it can possibly be," said Gerbensky.

Lakefront Park, Pewaukee

The city and village of Pewaukee contribute $17,000 for the show, but the other half comes from businesses and other donations. A match at North Shore Bank only resulted in about $800 so far. 

For more information, you can go to the gun club's website.