Economy Affects Fourth of July Traditions

June 29, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Air quality issues are partially responsible for the loss of Fourth of July traditions this year, but the economic crunch is hitting hard as well.Things are so bad in some parts of the country that in Abington, Massachusetts this year's fireworks display may not happen because of a lack of funds. Local officials say that they still need $14,000 to pay for the show.

Bob Wing, Abington, Ma. Board of Selectmen, says "The economy is tough; businesses are suffering, the price of gas ... I mean it's just horrendous and every nickel counts in a family now."

Meantime in Chula Vista, California, local officials have canceled the traditional Independence Day fireworks display as a way of saving $200,000.

The effects of the downturn in the economy are also being felt by charities across the nation. In one Dallas neighborhood for example, two of Habitat for Humanity's sponsors have recently backed out of their support for the building of much needed homes.

Meantime, in other parts of the country, the leisure industry is also feeling the economic crunch. In Miami, higher gas prices have caused fewer boaters to venture out of the marina in their sailing boats.

Capt. Stan Saffan, "Therapy 4" Charter Boat, says "The entire industry has definitely slowed down a lot. The price of fuel has gone up tremendously. Less than 2 years ago, we were at $1.30 a gallon. Today, we're at $5."

With some economists now predicting that gas could shoot up to $7 a gallon, things are not expected to get better anytime soon.


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