Hoping to snap out of your recession-borne funk by kicking back and enjoying some fireworks July 4? If so, you’d better hope you don’t live in one of the 40 locales that have canceled their fireworks celebrations due to budget concerns.
And since seemingly every municipality is struggling with budgets these days, you can probably expect countless more planned fireworks displays to fizzle out in the next couple weeks.
The Washington Post reports:
More than 40 communities across the country have already canceled their Fourth of July fireworks, conceding to a new reality: Shooting off a colorful array of explosives, an American birthright since 1777, is now a luxury that borders on wasteful. Unlike in Washington, where tens of thousands will fight for position on the Mall, these are places that represent what Independence Day means in most of America — a hillside covered with friends and neighbors, a few dozen fireworks set off by the volunteers from the fire department, a sweet, small-town sense of community on a warm summer night.
And yet the mayor in Lowell, Mass., laid off 48 employees and canceled fireworks earlier this month, reasoning that it saved employee No. 49. Some towns near Washington, from Herndon to Laurel, said sluggish fundraising could force them to scale back. Chesapeake Beach, Md., will shoot off fireworks on July 3 because it procured a discounted rate; organizers in Charlottesville warned that next year, fireworks might be canceled entirely.
The following sentence is hardly ever uttered, but here goes. The rest of the country should follow Tucson’s lead. Fireworks failure is an excellent opportunity for private businesses to play the part of ultra-patriotic saviors by stepping in to save the day when government falters.