POV | Fireworks Cancellation Was a Wise Move (7/8/14)
This past weekend, for the first time in many years, there was no Waterfront Independence Festival downtown to celebrate the Fourth of July. Instead of hosting concerts, big fireworks displays and even bigger crowds, Waterfront Park remained unusually quiet.
Many were disappointed, and I get that. Who isn't disappointed when a good time you've always counted on suddenly isn't on the schedule anymore?
But State budget cuts announced earlier this year meant the Waterfront Development Corporation will be receiving more than $400,000 less this year than usual. And when figures like that are involved, something has to go.
We face the same hard choices in our own homes. The first priority is housing and feeding the family. Then, everyone must be adequately clothed. And only after those needs are met - if there's money left over - do you even consider entertainment expenses.
Should we have cut jobs instead? Postponed repair and maintenance work? Maybe cut back on security expenses? Of course not, because all those things are far more important than one big party that's fun for a couple of days but quickly forgotten.
I hope the Festival returns in future years. But this was the perfect way to offset the unforeseen loss of many of those dollars, and I applaud our local leaders for being able to tell the difference between what's really essential and what's a luxury.