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UPDATE: Wilmington approves $30,000 for fireworks show


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.

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