This year's fireworks assured, but their future bleak
July 4 fireworks and festivities will take place as usual at Whetstone Park next week, Clintonville July 4 Celebration Inc. President G. Scott Smith vowed.
The future of the event, though, is as up in the air as the pyrotechnics will be.
The financial backing necessary to keep the longstanding community tradition alive simply hasn't been there, Smith said last week.
"Funding is still an issue," he said. "It has been for the last four years. It's a struggle to raise the money for this event, and this year is no different. We still need contributions."
Around the country, many fireworks shows in cities and neighborhoods have been curtailed or scaled back in recent years, Smith said.
The same thing could happen in Clintonville, although not this year.
"We won't cancel the event," Smith said. "There's no danger of that happening, but we sure need some more money to pay our bills."
Smith said he and Pat Kearns-Davis, the remaining two co-founders of the nonprofit organization formed in 1999 to keep the tradition alive, along with treasurer Chris Herbst, secretary Addie Davis and Adam P. Smith, are working hard to help keep the local Independence Day observance afloat.
"All these folks work and live in Clintonville and are really dedicated to make this a safe and really nice day for folks," G. Scott Smith said. "It's going to be a great day, and all the events are lined up."
A fireworks display has been held annually at Whetstone Park since 1952, according to the website for the celebration.
Again this year, the show will be put on by Melrose Pyrotechnics of Kingsbury, Ind.
"They came recommended to us years ago," Smith said.
The Clintonville show has gone off without a hitch for the last 14 years, which Smith said is "pretty remarkable."
This year's fireworks display is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m.