Many July Fourth Fireworks Shows Canceled Due to Budget Cuts

Budget cuts force officials to cancel July 4th fireworks in many places.

ByABC News
June 30, 2010, 11:19 AM

June 30, 2010— -- Some Americans will have to do without the rockets' red glare and bombs bursting in air on July 4th this year because many cities have cut fireworks celebrations.

"It's been a tough year," Clayton, N.C., Town Councilman Alex Harding said.

Clayton's fireworks were snuffed out this year because of budget cuts, Harding told Many towns can't afford the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for fireworks and the necessary security and safety costs.

"We've had to make a lot of painful decisions," he said.

Harding said the town has had to lay people off and could not justify spending the $12,000 on a fireworks celebration when every dollar counts. People seem to understand.

"My constituents are actually happy and think it was a fiscally good and responsible decision," Harding said.

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Harding said many people will probably choose to go see fireworks in the city of Raleigh, less than 20 miles away.

Small towns like Clayton are not the only places that have been affected. Celebrations have been called off nationwide, from cities like Glendale, Ariz., and Springfield, Mo., as well as suburban towns like Medford, N.J., and Middletown, Conn.

Even major cities have been affected. Dallas had to cancel its fireworks after organizers struggled to find corporate sponsors to make up the city's portion of the bill, and its celebration was salvaged at the last minute by a pair of corporate angels.

"Because the city is in such dire straits financially, I didn't feel like it was right to ask the city for anything because they're having trouble keeping libraries and parks open," Craig Holcomb, president of the Friends of Fair Park, said.

The Friends of Fair Park puts on the fireworks each year. Holcomb said they get about a third of their funds from the city and corporate sponsors cover the rest, but they were forced to cancel the event last week because the city couldn't come up with its share.