Smaller events prepare for big crowds in wake of July 4th firewo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Smaller events prepare for big crowds in wake of July 4th fireworks cancellation at Waterfront

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville is home to the largest fireworks show in North America, Thunder Over Louisville, but on the 4th of July you won't hear a single boom at Waterfront Park.

Everybody has their favorite fireworks, perhaps judged by colors or shapes. “The ones that go up in the sky,” said Leah Fox.

“I like the flying fish,” said Isaiah Rock. But come Friday, the benches at Waterfront Park will be empty.

This year's Waterfront Independence Festival is canceled. That means no music, and no fireworks. The Waterfront Development Corporation, which has put on the festival for almost 20 years, blames the Kentucky General Assembly.

“During the last session of the legislature where we get a significant portion of our operating budget we were cut by $420,800,” explained Waterfront Dev. Corp. President, David Karem.

Along with private sponsors, the Waterfront Development Corp spent between $80,000 and $100,000 of its budget to put on the free two-day festival. But with a massive funding cut from the state, it isn't possible.

“It's a loss to the community,” said Karem.

We found families in the Powder Keg Fireworks shop in Jeffersonville, disappointed.

“We need that around here,” says Brian Miller.

Others have decided to host their own show.

“We get together at our house every year, I've got some property and what-not,” said Burt Basham.

And with no celebration at the Waterfront, other traditionally smaller events are trying to prepare.

Crescent Hill Old Fashioned 4th host Jerry Fielden says “we're planning on big crowds this year with the downtown thing closing down.”

The Crescent Hill Old Fashioned 4th is planning for an additional 10 thousand people to show up.

“We haven't had a situation like this before.” Fielden says “we're just flying by the seat of our pants, I guess you could say.”

This is the first time the Waterfront Independence Festival has been canceled and organizers hope it will be the last.

“We will regroup as hard as we know how to try and figure out how to put it on next year,” Karem stated.

For a list of events you can attend instead, click here.

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