Cash-Strapped Cities Ditch Fourth of July Fireworks

Tight budgets are causing cities across the country to skip fireworks displays for their Fourth of July celebrations.
June 29, 2009, 1pm PDT | Nate Berg
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Some residents are disappointed, but officials say the costs are just too high during tough times. Other cities, like Montebello, California, are passing on fireworks displays in favor of humanitarian and philanthropic efforts, like funding food banks.

"'It came down to this: Did we want to spend $150,000 on something that would be over in a few hours?' [Euclid, Ohio, Mayor Bill] Cervenik said. 'Or did we want to use that money to keep city workers employed?'

The news has sparked outrage and protests among residents who long to preserve an American tradition that dates to 1777. They say that fireworks displays are more than a nod to nostalgia: They allow communities to come together, set aside their woes and build up town pride -- even if only for a few hours."

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Published on Monday, June 29, 2009 in Los Angeles Times
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