Visalia's Firework Show Lacking Funds

April 21, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Every year families have gathered at the Mineral King Bowl to watch a spectacular July 4th fireworks show. But this year the organizers are struggling to come up with enough cash to pay for the show.Last year, more than 8,000 people came out to the Mineral King Bowl in Visalia to watch a fun-filled and free fireworks show, another 10,000 watch from homes in nearby neighborhoods.

Bruce McDermott said, "The whole regalia is probably about $35-40,000 so it's a big event".

Visalia Parks and Recreation Foundation President Bruce McDermott said the slow economy has caused a lack of sponsors for this year's event, and may force organizers to charge admission to this summer's show.

Tony Salierno from Provident Mortgage said his company had to reduce their sponsorship from $14,000 to just over $4,000 dollars. "We have decided to focus our resources and funds to those that were helping the hungry helping the poor those agencies which we've done for many, many years but we wanted to put more emphasis on that this year," said Salierno.

Salierno hopes other companies will step forward and sponsor the event to keep a show he enjoyed growing up, free to everyone. Salierno,said, "Our family couldn't afford to pay for anything that was going on and that was one of the things I looked forward to because I knew we could get into the fireworks free and have an enjoyable evening".

McDermott said, "We want of hang onto that tradition in Visalia that it's free fireworks for everybody it may not happen this year it may be a slight charge for people that come to the gate but I think it'll be a dollar or two".

Right now they're short $16,000 dollars to put on the show. Not one year since the show started more than 70 years has the July 4th fireworks show not gone on.

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