Well over 1-thousand firework enthusiasts and their families from across the world will be in Newton next year for the annual Pyrotechnics Guild International Convention. Since early this year several City Officials and a group of residents interested in fireworks have been working to land the PGI convention in 2022. At the end of last night’s City Council meeting, At-Large Councilman Randy Ervin got the notification the group was hoping for.
Ervin claims the estimated economic impact the convention will have on Newton and Jasper County is 2.5 to 3.5-million dollars. Pyrotechnics Guild International has been around since 1969. According to their website, between 12-hundred and 13-hundred of their 16-hundred plus members typically attend the annual conventions. PGI Board members from Houston Texas, South Carolina, and Wisconsin were in Newton a couple of months ago to look over the community and Iowa Speedway, which is where the convention will be held. Ervin says the City had to meet about 3 pages of qualifications to host the convention. Among the requirements was the availability of 800 hotel rooms and 300 campsites. Mayor Mike Hansen was involved in meetings with PGI representatives, as was Councilman Mark Hallam, City Administrator Matt Muckler, Police Chief Rob Burdess, and Fire Chief Jarrod Wellik.
That’s Mayor Hansen, after last night’s announcement. According to Ervin, the City will have 60 days to review and sign the convention contract with PGI. He says other cities that were in the running to host the 2022 convention were Mason City, Lincoln Nebraska, and this year’s convention city…Fargo North Dakota.