Despite a suggestion that the cost of putting on a public fireworks show has increased, several metro-area city leaders reported they will spend the same amount for this year's Independence Day displays as in past years.
Gary Caimano, director of marketing for Enid-based pyrotechnic specialists Western Enterprises, which works with several metro communities, said the price for materials has increased, as has every aspect of a professional fireworks production.
“Every element of the business has gone up,” Caimano said. “It's been 20 percent, 25 percent overall increases.”
Officials in Norman said the city will spend approximately $50,000 on fireworks, the same amount as in previous years. But Jeff Hill, the city's recreation superintendent, said that amount of money may not guarantee the same number of explosions.
“We may not get as much bang for our buck with that,” Hill said. “Everything goes up in price.”
Norman's Fourth of July celebration will begin at 4 p.m. Monday at Reaves Park, 2501 Jenkins Ave. Fireworks are scheduled to begin about 9:45 p.m.
In Midwest City, community services director Vaughn Sullivan said the city would spend $20,000 on its fireworks display, the same amount it has spent for several years. This year's display will begin at 9:45 a.m. Monday at Joe B. Barnes Regional Park, 8700 E Reno Ave. The 20-minute show will be preceded by a concert at 6 p.m. at the park's Rotary Pavilion.
Sullivan said the city is contracting with Western Enterprises to put on the show.
In Bethany, the city will celebrate the 53
City officials said they are spending $16,500 on the fireworks show this year, a 10 percent increase from the previous year's show. They said they have had a 20 to 30 percent increase in sponsorship this year, and have been able to keep costs down by using local talent.
LibertyFest, Edmond's nine-day Independence Day celebration, will be highlighted by a 30-
Fireworks show chairman Bob Meinders said the show costs the same as last year — between $30,000 and $40,000 — although he declined to provide an exact figure. The city of Edmond contributed $53,000 to LibertyFest this year, with $25,000 of that going to the fireworks show.
Meinders said the remainder of the fireworks shows costs are paid with donations and money raised during other LibertyFest events.
The city of Moore also joins the list of cities spending the same amount on fireworks as in previous years. City officials there said the city will spend $25,000 on this year's show, which will be part of the Art in the Park: A Celebration in the Heartland event. Festivities are scheduled Sunday and Monday at Buck Thom
Some shows changed
There are some exceptions to the trend of business-as-usual fireworks displays.
Tinker Air Force Base officials reported they would not have a Fourth of July celebration this year because of a combination of budget and logistical concerns. The base usually has fireworks in conjunction with an air show, but no air show was available for the base this year.
“It was definitely budget-related,” said Ron Mullan, chief of media operations at Tinker. “It wasn't the only reason we aren't having it this year, but it was under some consideration. We're looking at the possibility of doing an air show every other year.”
The city of Shawnee, meanwhile, has canceled its fireworks display this year, citing budget shortfalls.
In Oklahoma City, officials with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic said budget concerns factored into planning for the fifth annual Red, White & Boom, scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Sunday at the Coca-Cola Bricktown Events Center parking lot.
Michelle Winters, the Philharmonic's media director, said the concert has a tighter budget this year because of a drop in sponsorships and fundraising. The orchestra has cut back other areas instead of cutting back on the fireworks, she said. This year, they trimmed the budget by using music they own the rights to, instead of renting music.
“They are kind of things that are invisible to the public,” Winters said.
Also in Bricktown, the Oklahoma City RedHawks will play the Iowa Cubs at 7:05 p.m. Monday, and there will be fireworks after the game.
Contributing: Staff Writers Diana Baldwin, Jane Glenn Cannon, Carrie Coppernoll, Ann Kelley, Kory B. Oswald and Tricia Pemberton