Escalating costs, the trade war with China, and federally protected birds are leading to the cancellation of Independence Day fireworks displays across America.
Plainwell, Michigan leaders blamed the Chinese, according to Mlive:
The city attempted to contract with fireworks company Night Magic Displays of La Porte, Indiana, to set up this year’s show. The price quoted for the same as the show as last year, which cost $7,500, was $10,000.
“It’s not us raising the places, it’s the Chinese,” Night Magic Displays Operations Manager Richard Wilson said. “The only place fireworks are made is in China. This trend is going to continue every year.”
Organizers in Byron, Illinois blame costs and lack of interest from financial supporters.
“It stinks,” Byron native Mitchell Johnson tells WIFR. “What’s more American than a small town firework display?”
Byron Mayor John Rickard says the city is not a sponsor of the firework show, and he was notified it was canceled two weeks ago.
“The explanation [was] that there is a conflict with logistics they couldn’t work out,” he says. “It was an event that a lot of the community liked to support, so we want to try and find a way to make it happen again, as soon as next year.”
A volunteer committee is responsible for collecting donations. This year donations were low. According to Byron Police Chief Todd Murray, the lack of funding was a major contributing factor to cancel the event.
It’s a similar story in Canon City, Colorado, where the city just didn’t plan for a celebration of our country. Via KRDO:
The cancellation is due to the city not budgeting for fireworks in 2019.
In a Facebook post, Canon City Colorado Government says since the fireworks display had been canceled in the years past due to fire bans and fire danger, the city decided to not budget any money for 2019 fireworks.
In Old Orchard Beach, Maine, endangered birds are threatening the commemoration of our independence from King George.
The show will go on this Fourth of July in Old Orchard Beach, with the town’s manager saying there will be fireworks this Thursday.
The decision comes after fireworks scheduled for last week were cancelled because of nesting piping plovers in the area, which are federally protected.
The town’s manager says the nest was only 400 feet from where the fireworks are launched, so they had to cancel last Thursday.
“The birds were cooperative with us because they hatched that night, so sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning they had eggs hatch, they’re now on the move and that frees things up for the Fourth of July,” Town Manager Larry Mead said.
“As long as the birds keep cooperating, they’ll continue on with the fireworks each week, but if they move back to the nesting area, they’ll have to cancel again,” according to the news station.
Americans in San Marcos, California are taking matters into their own hands by paying for a fireworks display themselves. Via 10 News:
The City of San Marcos is turning to crowdfunding to make up for budget shortfalls in their 4th of July plans.
For the second straight year, the city set up a GoFundMe website to raise money for fireworks. This year’s goal is $5,500.
City officials tell 10News the city already pitches in $15,000 to pay for entertainment, security, permits and other costs associated with their annual Fireworks Extravaganza.
They also say traditional donations have brought in about $17,000 for fireworks. But the fireworks show costs $30K.
The GoFundMe has raised a little over $3,000 so far.