May 27, 2024

Newton gives $10K donation to PGI convention

City continues its support of summer events

The upcoming 2022 Pyrotechnics Guild International Convention received council support in the form of a $10,000 donation, which continues the city’s trend of providing funds to large-scale community events taking place this summer.

In addition to its contributions to the PGI convention, the City of Newton pledged $33,000 annually to the NTT IndyCar Series at the Iowa Speedway and donated $10,000 to the inaugural Wild Cat Country Fest on June 18 at the festival grounds of Fore Seasons, featuring The Marshall Tucker Band as the headliner.

Three members of the city council — Randy Ervin, Mark Hallam and Vicki Wade — are involved in organizing the PGI convention and were forced to recuse themselves from voting on the matter, which passed in a 3-0 vote.

Formally called “Thunderstruck Over Iowa Speedway,” the event’s steering committee request a $10,000 donation to be used for the inspection of the concert stage and preparing the entertainment area prior to the fireworks show each evening of the convention, which will be held July 30-Aug. 5.

Ron Dlouhy, a member of the PGI steering committee, said organizers has lined up “an outstanding array of entertainment” for the three public nights at the Newton convention, and he hopes it will produce a “huge boost” to the city. PGI is also incentivizing the city with its own promotional opportunity on the main stage.

“Each of these nights’ entertainment occur on the ‘Get to Know Newton Stage.’ Get to Know Newton banners will be displayed on the stage, as well as special banners attached in prime viewing areas for the fireworks show each night,” Dlouhy said. “We’re anticipating over 1,800 PGI members to attend.”

However, organizers are also expecting to attract more than 10,000 “enthusiastic pyro fans” over the three public nights.

“We’re very excited to get as many Newton and Jasper County residents involved in this event as possible so that PGI members will enjoy our community and look forward to returning. There’s no doubt that PGI will be a historic event for the City of Newton, and we appreciate the city’s support and involvement,” Dlouhy said.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.