City budget woes mean Maplewood will cancel its 20-year tradition of Fourth of July fireworks. But in White Bear Lake, the fireworks celebration over the lake will be bigger than usual, thanks to donations from the public.
Maplewood Mayor Will Rossbach told the Pioneer Press that they were cutting the $19,000 for the 30-minute fireworks display to protect other city services.
“We’re trying not to cut our police, not to cut our fire,” he said.
But White Bear, which requested donations through the city’s utility bill sent to all residents, has raised $13,000 for an 18- to 20-minute display on July 4 at Memorial Beach.
Other cities face the same questions, and even the Taste of Minnesota fireworks — long a mainstay of the annual event — will be reduced to one night, not the traditional four nights’ worth.
Said the paper:
Lena Gould of the League of Minnesota Cities said financial woes have forced several cities to cut out fireworks at various festivals. In some instances, Gould said, community leaders rallied to save the displays.
Rochester and Mankato canceled fireworks last year before other funding sources were found. Elk River wasn’t so lucky in 2009, but residents and businesses rallied this year and have raised the money to put on the show.