UPDATE: Wilmington approves $30,000 for fireworks show

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Submitted: Wed, 06/18/2014 - 3:41am
Updated: Thu, 06/19/2014 - 12:00am

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington City Council approved a $30,000 budget Tuesday night for the 4th of July fireworks show.

The city will contribute $20,000 to the annual display, and two sponsors will each donate $5,000. The city is still looking for more donations to continue the pyrotechnic display for years to come. That’s something that might not be easy considering what happened this year when the city tried to find funds.

More than 40,000 people come downtown each year to enjoy the Independence Day fireworks. The city budgets $30,000 for the yearly event with costs intended to be covered by a big name business.

Unlike last year, this year’s strategy was to encourage local businesses to contribute, but downtown business owner Mark Scharaga, and several others, said they were not asked to chip in.

“No, we have not been asked at all,” Scharaga said. “If I had the advertising budget of a larger business, I think it’s definitely one of those things that you should be involved in.”

The city is using the $10,000 it planned to spend this year along with $10,000 from next year’s budget to make up for this year’s lack of funding. But, the options for next year aren’t good if the city doesn’t get more donors. Wilmington might have to host a smaller display, or none at all. That doesn’t sit well with downtown business owners like Scharaga.

“I think it would be insane if they don’t have it. You know? I mean, it’s a tradition to have it. I mean, they’ve had it every year since I’ve been here,” Scharaga said.


  • guesty says:

    Isn’t it funny how we hear Social Security will be broke but we never hear that welfare is running out of money. Didn’t mayor puff n stuff say not too long ago that the city had a surplus? Spend it on hairspray or his girlfriend?

  • taxpayer says:

    City Council has spent 10’s of $1000’s in study after study after study…to which the studies showed they needed to study why they were funding so many studies.

    Maybe, if they sold the Convention Center hotel land for a price that was market value, the funding for fireworks shows could be funded for many years to come. But no…in order to take care of their buddy Chuck, they sell it at a discount.

    Cry me a river Billy and Laura…cry me a river. Our Mayor and City Council, elected by and large via the real estate industry, are fiscally irresponsible.

  • USMC says:

    Seems like tax dollars are wasted on such unimportant things. If $30,000 were spent on something that was durable and would be there for the enjoyment of the people for years to come, certain expenditures might be justified. But, a fireworks show, that when the oohs and aahs have quieted and the smoke and odor of powder has cleared, there is nothing to show for more money than some make in a year. So sad our so-called “leaders” are so generous and careless with our funds.

  • Guest Reply Redux says:

    “It’s going to rain July 4th/5th/6th/so there”
    Wooops! What if it rains Saffo & Company?

  • Heimie Schmelter says:

    40,000 peeps = 40,000 clams. 10k surplus to apply to the next year. A dollar per person to see that display isn’t unreasonable. This way they don’t have to break into Saffo’s hairspray budget and everybody’s happy!

  • Shirley Goodwin says:

    Why doesn’t New Hanover County chip in? I know its not just the people within the city limits going downtown to view this.

  • Taxpayer$$$ says:

    The fireworks could be funded for a decade and more for what the city squandered on the taxpayer fleeced baseball debacle that the voters overwhelmingly rejected. Somehow the city found that money in a file cabinet downtown. Check the drawer labeled “PET PROJECTS”.

  • Wilmington Observer says:

    I do not want my (tax) money to be spent on fireworks. I’ve never gone and probably never will. If other business owners feel the same way as Mr Scaraga “….. it would be insane if they don’t have it. You know? I mean….” then they should either raise the funds among themselves or try to get their customers to donate a dollar each to help pay for the function which is NOT a government responsibility.

    Wilmington Observer

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