EVART — To raise money for the Evart Independence Day celebration, the Evart Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its third annual meatloaf dinner on Feb. 7.

“It costs us over $17,000 every year for the fireworks. With the economy the way it is, it’s getting harder to collect the $17,000,” said Connie Douglas, president of the Evart Area Chamber of Commerce. “So we have to hold several fundraisers for fireworks. The meatloaf dinner is our best one.”

Community members are invited to enjoy the dinner and fellowship from 5 to 7 p.m. The event will include a meatloaf dinner made by Herb Oneil, deserts made by the women of the chamber and a silent auction. Items available to bid on will include carpet cleanings, gift baskets, restaurant certificates, oil changes and crafts. Bids will end and items will be awarded at 6:45 p.m.

Last year, more than $4,000 was raised through the event. Organizers hope to top that this year with special servers and a larger venue.

“This year, we’re going to have celebrity servers at the dinner,” Douglas said. “We usually serve more than 200 people, but we’re making a lot more food this year because we’re expecting more people.”

After holding the event at the Moose Lodge the past two years, this year the dinner and festivities will move to the community building at the Osceola 4-H FFA Fairgrounds to accomodate additional guests.

Tickets cost $5 per person and are available at Britz Realty, the Evart Sunoco Station and Details Salon as well as at the door.

“We have one of the largest fireworks displays in all of Michigan. We have people from Bay City, Lake City, Grand Rapids, Toledo and other places come to town to watch our fireworks. They last an hour or longer,” Douglas said. “We’re finding that when we collect with our buckets the night of the fireworks, a lot of people don’t have cash on them.”

Anyone interested in making a contribution to the fireworks, can mail a check to the Evart Area Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 688 Evart, MI 49631.

For more information, contact Douglas at (231) 250-8700.