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Fireworks show sparks 4th blast

Closing in on a quarter century of lighting up people's patriotic lives, the Milan Fireworks show just keeps getting bigger and better.

``This will be the 25th year for the Milan Fireworks, and it now draws anywhere from 20,000 to 25,000 people,'' Nell Daniels, Milan's parks director, said.

That's not bad for a village with a population that numbers a fourth of that.

In fact, Milan knows the lure of its Fourth of July holiday celebration. Ms. Daniels said the money spent on the fireworks display has tripled.

It's more than just a fireworks show similar to the one that started out at the Milan Little League field. Now, off the sloping hills west of the Milan Community Center, the night also incorporates entertainment, food vendors and games, the latter sponsored by Milan's youth baseball organizations.

Part of that entertainment comes from Susan's Dance Dimensions, which has participated for nearly a decade. The Milan dance studio has about 125 students participate.

``I don't think anything compares to Milan's fireworks,'' said Susan Schneider, the studio's instructor. ``I think they're the most awesome, but then, I'm a little prejudiced.''

With cars parked to watch the fireworks lining U.S. 67 for miles north and south of the Community Center, as well as on 92nd Avenue all the way to Knoxville Road, being the opening act for the night's entertainment does have its advantages for Susan's followers.

``Our parents and grandparents get the best parking spots,'' Mrs. Schneider quipped.

-- By Marc Nesseler (February 2, 1998)

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