June 27, 2017
Locals are canceling Independence Day events across the country this year for a variety of reasons, from licensing and budget problems to “questions about our government” under President Trump.
New Orleans event planner and artist Katrina Brees told The Times-Picayune she put the kibosh on a July 4th Flotilla parade she’s held every year since 2012 because last year’s election left her in a dour mood.
“When I think about wearing my flag dress and waving flags; I don’t know that it means this year,” she said. “There are a lot of questions about our government.”
Brees typically leads the growing patriotism-themed water parade through the city’s Bayou St. John every Independence Day while wearing an American flag dress and wielding a battle sword. Following the election, Brees said she mulled a “billionaires parade” instead to mock the President, but similar stunts during Marti Gras seemed wrong.
“Even the humor, it just kind of upset me,” the apparent victim of Trump Derangement Syndrome said. “It wasn’t funny anymore. As soon as the election happened, I was thinking about the (July 4th) parade and I’m not sure how bohemia fits into patriotism anymore.”
In Anna, Illinois, the people set up to put on the annual Fourth of July Fireworks couldn’t secure a vendor’s license from city officials, so it’s lights out, KFVS reports.
“City leaders tried to find someone else to run the fireworks but were not able to do so on such short notice,” the news site reports.
Jackson County, Missouri officials also announced the cancellation of what was previously promoted as “one of the greater Kansas City region’s most popular” Fourth of July fireworks displays because they reportedly can’t afford it.
“We don’t have the budget for it,” county spokeswoman Angie Jeffries told the Kansas City Star.
Last year, 15,000 people came out to watch the fireworks, skydivers, tributes to the military and enjoy a free concert by The Romantics. This year, the county’s website is redirecting folks to alternative fireworks displays in the area.
The event cost $153,000 last year, of which sponsors picked up $58,000, according to the news site.
Residents in Meriden, Connecticut are also bummed out after the city snubbed out this year’s fireworks to save some cash.
The annual fireworks show at Hubbard Park costs about $20,000, plus another $5,000 for entertainment, city parks and recreation director Chris Bourdon told WTNH.
Bourdon said a local business stepped up last year to fund the yearly tradition, but that didn’t happen in 2017, though he did not discuss whether city officials pursued donations.
“What happened is basically last year, our city council voted not to fund the fireworks celebration and last year we had a local business step up and provide the money to do that,” Bourdon said. “This year the business was not able to do that hence there is no funding for the fireworks display.”
Local residents are totally bummed out.
“I’m disappointed,” said Marlene McGann.
“You want to have something to look forward to and to gather and bring your kids and it’s sad that they’re not going to do it this year,” Jamie Morel told WTNH.
McGann said city officials should figure out a way to make it work.
“I know it’s a lot of money to stage fireworks and I know the state budget’s bad and the towns are feeling the pinch, but it really has been something special for families over the years,” Marlene said.
Bourdon seemed unmoved.
“It’s a tough decision to make,” Bourdon said. “It certainly isn’t the city being unpatriotic……But at the same time when the funds aren’t there you have to make tough decisions.”
This article was posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 6:35 am