Red Wing fireworks saved by last minute move from business owner

The traditional Fourth of July fireworks seemed like a lost cause in Red Wing until a couple of days ago, but neighbors are crediting a bar owner with saving the tradition.

The joyful sounds of patriotism entertained dozens at Levee Park in Red Wing on this Fourth of July afternoon.

In most years, these holiday festivities would end with fireworks.

But two months ago, the volunteer group lighting up the skies over the border town for the last several years announced it didn’t have the volunteers or the funding for fireworks in 2023.

That didn’t sit well with the owner of the Harbor Bar across the Mississippi in Wisconsin. He decided to take it on himself to make sure everyone in Red Wing got a fireworks show.

"The fireworks is a very important thing for the town of Red Wing," said Brad Smith.

The longtime Harbor Bar owner says he realized he and his neighbor in Hager City still had a permit for fireworks, so he announced the show would go on.

"The town is going crazy," he said. "The comments and the love and the support that they have. it’s very important to them."

So important, dozens of people stepped up with donations to grow the show.

Edwin and Andrea Buck say they contributed because it would be sad if kids missed out on the annual tradition.

"The fireworks have been a staple of this community for years, since I was a kid, you know?" Edwin Buck said.

Smith collected a few thousand dollars and kicked in some of the bar’s recent profits as well, so he’s going big.

"It’s not going to be the great show the last crew put on, you know, but something’s better than nothing," Smith said.

He’s hoping it’ll be a blast for folks on both sides of the river — at Harbor and over at Levee Park — celebrating America and the red, white, and blue.