Chamber launches 2021 Big Boom Bracket Battle fireworks drive

The bombs were indeed bursting in air during the 2018 Independence Day in Perry.

Last year’s Fourth of July Fireworks Drive looked different than past efforts, with such a shortened time frame and with new activities. One of those new activities – the Big Boom Bracket Battle – proved to be a huge success, bringing in nearly half of the total amount fundraised for the fireworks display in 2020.

Due to event cancellations last spring, the fundraiser took place in June rather than in March as originally planned. Becoming a new tradition, this year’s Big Boom Bracket Battle is right on schedule to coincide as intended with the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

“It’s hard to know how much of its success was rooted in the excitement of a new initiative or the pressure of a shortened timeline,” said Lynsi Pasutti, executive director of the Perry Chamber of Commerce, “but it was certainly amazing to see the community rally in such a way to make it happen last year. We are definitely looking forward to coordinating the Big Boom Bracket Battle again this year as a way to get fundraising efforts for the Fourth of July fireworks started that much sooner.”

The Big Boom Bracket Battle is a bracket-style contest, with the prize of a pie in the face, all for the sake of fundraising for the fireworks display during Perry’s Fourth of July celebration. Donations will determine the winners of each matchup within the bracket structure as well as the ultimate winner of “The Battle.”

Participants in the contest will be determined based on nominations from the community and once verified by the nominees. Self-nominations will be accepted. All nominations are due to the Chamber by Friday, March 5 at noon either by phone at 515-465-4601 or by email at

An Elimination Round will take place on the Chamber’s Facebook page, with a photo album of all nominees posted for the community to vote with their likes on individual photos. The eight individuals with the most likes within a week will become the Explosive 8 and their rankings will determine the set-up of the bracket.

The fundraising portion of the initiative will then take place, with three weeks of head-to-head contests. Advancement in the Big Boom Bracket Battle will be based on monetary donations from the community, accepted online, by mail and at various locations in town.

“The ultimate goal will be to make a dent in our overall fundraising goal of $12,500 and to have a little fun while we’re at it,” Pasutti said. “Other initiatives will take place throughout the spring, but this will be our official kick-off for this year’s Fireworks Drive.”

Key dates of the Big Boom Bracket Battle:

• Friday, March 5 at noon – Nominations Due to the Chamber
• Monday, March 8 – Elimination Round begins on Facebook (vote with your likes)
• Monday, March 15 – Explosive 8 announced; fundraising begins (vote with dollars)
• Monday, March 22 – Firecracker 4 announced; fundraising continues
• Monday, March 29 – Grand Finale Duo announced; final round of fundraising
• Monday, April 5 – Winner Announced; Pie in the Face time/location TBD

The Chamber wishes to thank once again all those who participated in last year’s inaugural Big Boom Bracket Battle, including those who submitted nominations, those who voted – both in the elimination round and with their dollars – and the 22 individuals who accepted nominations with the chance of getting a pie in the face.

Special thanks goes to last year’s Explosive 8 and especially the Grand Finale Duo who tied in the end, with both getting a pie in the face: J. P. Hulgan and Eddie Diaz.

For more information or to submit a nomination for the Big Boom Bracket Battle, contact the Perry Chamber of Commerce at or 515-465-4601.

Lynsi Pasutti is the executive director of the Perry Chamber of Commerce.


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