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West Virginia man to share fireworks with community

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — Ave’s Lock and Key owner Averil Doyle recalls the Fourth of July as a child, driving to his grandmother’s in Florida, watching fireworks from the backseat as his family drove down Interstate 81, the awe of watching the shows flash in bright colors.

With COVID-19 bringing most Fourth of July celebrations to a screeching halt, Doyle took things into his own hands.

He’ll be setting off his own display at his business in Hedgesville in celebration on the evening of July 4, a show he wants the community to share in and something he hopes can bring the same sense of wonder to the local kids that he once felt.

Only invited friends and family will be at the business, while the public is encouraged to watch from their homes or other places where they can social distance.

“The idea for hosting a fireworks display started off as a simple idea, as most do,” Doyle said. “We were bummed that there would not be any official firework shows in the area for the kids and the big kids at heart, so my girlfriend and I discussed the idea of taking the usual fireworks that we set off at home and moving the venue somewhere a little more accessible for our friends and family.

“Of course, this quickly snowballed into, ‘Why not go a little bigger for the neighborhoods nearby?’ then, ‘Well, maybe the kids from Hedgesville proper may want to attend,’ and now seems to be garnering massive interest from people all over the county and beyond.

“With that in mind, we intend to deliver the best show we can.”

While only a select group of friends and family will be at the shop with Doyle — a number of those in attendance with experience in fireworks that also work well as a team — he’s already mapped out the perfect places to watch for those wanting to watch. To help promote proper health protocol, he is encouraging social distancing for anyone who watches from a location other than their home. Upon inspection, Doyle determined that the elementary school, ball fields and middle school appear to be the be places to watch the event.

The feedback has been vastly positive, the community thankful for Doyle stepping up to give Hedgesville families a light show to celebrate the country. But for him, the opportunity to give back to his community is the true reward.

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