Thanks to the support of Clintonville businesses and residents, fans of the annual Fourth of July fireworks in Whetstone Park won't be let down.

Thanks to the support of Clintonville businesses and residents, fans of the annual Fourth of July fireworks in Whetstone Park won't be let down.

After organizers announced earlier this year that they lacked the funds needed to put on the annual Clintonville Fourth of July Celebration and fireworks, businesses stepped up with donations to keep the 60-year-old tradition going.

Those efforts, teamed with donations from residents, will revive the fireworks, said celebration organizer G. Scott Smith.

"The contributions are still coming in. We're not quite there, but we're going to be there," Smith said. "We will have the fireworks."

To keep the tradition alive, a group of Clintonville restaurants, headed by Mozart's Caf, held a fundraiser May 21 that hosted more than 150 people and brought in an estimated $4,000, said Mozart's owner Anand Saha.

KEMBA Financial Credit Union doubled its annual donation to the fireworks display to $5,000. KEMBA also announced last week that it will donate $50 to the fireworks fund for every business checking account or checking account with direct deposit opened at the Clintonville branch before June 30.

The celebration's fund also has been receiving checks through the mail and through a Web site set up by Element and Mozart's, www.clintonvillefourthofjuly.com. The Web site lists events and allows people to make donations directly through the site.

Weiland's Gourmet Market also has arranged to have a fundraiser for the Fourth of July, which will be from 6 to 9 p.m. June 11 at the Clintonville Woman's Club, 3951 N. High St.

Even with the donations, Smith said, the annual celebration will be scaled back somewhat. The fireworks display likely will be smaller, and there probably won't be a concession area or inflatable play areas for children.

The live music also was going to be sacrificed, but Smith said the stage company donated the $6,800 bandstand, and the featured band will play for free.

Events like the bike decorating contest, the pet parade and the fishing derby will go forward because they don't cost much, Smith said.

"Most people are going to notice a lot of things. It's little things that we've scaled back," Smith said. "Overall, I think it's going to be a good day."

Because of the success of the fundraising this year, Smith said he thinks Fourth of July Celebration organizers are likely to look to the community and its businesses to raise funds in the future, rather than having a small group of people go out and ask for donations, as they have done in the past.

"I think maybe this is the way to raise money for the Fourth of July in the future," Smith said. "This brings the whole community into the fundraising."

Donations can be sent via mail to the Fourth of July Celebration at P.O. Box 141463, Columbus 43214.

jnesbitt@thisweeknews.com