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Red Bank Cancels Fourth of July Fireworks

Written by The Two River Times. Posted in Breaking News, Featured, Front Page, News

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The Borough of Red Bank has cancelled its annual Kaboom! Fireworks on the Navesink celebration due to budget woes.

Published on February 14, 2012 with 17 Comments

 

Red Bank Cancels Fourth of July Fireworks

The Borough of Red Bank has cancelled its annual Kaboom! Fireworks on the Navesink celebration due to budget woes.

RED BANK —The committee organizing the annual KaBoom! Fireworks on the Navesink display announced today it has canceled its plans for the annual event.

Those involved with the event’s organizing sited the rising cost to provide the necessary increasing police presence and security considerations, higher insurance costs and the ever difficulty in raising the necessary contributions to support the event, as well as the continuing difficult economy, as the major factors for the decision.

The event is often cited as the borough’s largest of the year, traditionally bringing in as much as hundreds of thousands of visitors to the borough, mostly into the downtown business area, to view the pyrotechnic display. Last year’s event cost approximately $300,000, said Charles Moran, the KaBoom Committee’s executive director.

“KaBoom is a victim of its own success,” Tim Hogan, committee chairman, said in a released press statement. “Every year brought increasing numbers of visitors to Red Bank, especially as towns throughout New Jersey cancelled their own Fourth of July fireworks displays. Our security costs doubled in the last three years, and although we raised more money in 2011 than ever before, we continued to incur a deficit with each succeeding year.”

On Tuesday, Moran said the fundraising this year was sufficient to cover the event’s costs. However, given the unsettled weather for last July 3, attempts to collect donations from the crowd on hand lagged behind the previous year, raising only $14,500, compared to 2010’s $24,800. The committee did bring in additional corporate support last year.

Another difficult hurdle for the committee was the loss of financial support from the borough. Back in 2010, officials announced they wouldn’t be able to provide the traditional approximately $60,000 used to underwrite police overtime and security measures.

“Red Bank, as a municipality, does not have the ability to fund these particular types of public events,” given the loss of state aid, Mayor Pasquale Menna said.

“We have a population facing financial difficulties in terms of maintaining their homes,” Menna explained about the borough’s decision. “So, we can’t fund or contribute in any fashion something that is perceived by the vast majority of the population as not critical to the operation of government, which is to maintain public safety and health.”

Two years ago, as the event fell on Saturday there were a number of disruptions and orderly persons arrests that caused Menna to ask the committee to address security for the day to ensure the event would proceed as a family friendly one. And that meant a higher police presence and costs, as local police were supported by a number of area departments and county authorities.

And the effects of those arrests and incidents linger on. “There are still lawsuits going on with some of the personal injuries from people getting out of hand,” the mayor said. “And the taxpayers and the insurance companies for Red Bank are still paying for it.”

“It’s the responsible thing to do at this point,” he said.But Menna and Hogan did leave the door open for the fireworks display to be rebooted and continued in the future.

“At this point we stand ready to work with the town of Red Bank,” Hogan said.

 

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17 Comments

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  1. Or they could, you know, look for alternative sources of funding (im sure local businesses would like to put their name on it, maybe even in a firework) as well as working to make it more efficient.

  2. It’s sad that they had to do this, but with this said the article states that other towns cancled theirs. Why don’t these towns that cancle theirs help defer the cost to some of their neighboring towns that have these events. And at the same time refer their local buisnesses that help in these activies to encourage them to donate to the bigger events. When you have a successful town doing a successful event people and buisnesses should help them. Red Banks was the best around!!!

  3. I’m saddened to hear of the cancelation of this wonderful annual event. While I live in another part of the country now, my roots are deep in Red Bank. I was born in Riverview hospital and raised just up the road in Middletown. My grandfather Isaac Hill operated the crane the lifted the unlimited hydroplanes in and out of the water at Marine park during the boat races. Growing up my first real job was as an usher at the Carlton Theater. Every year I’ve made it a point to travel back to Red Bank to visit friends and experience one of the best fireworks shows on the east coast. While there I enjoy having a pizza at the Brothers and a sandwich at Elsie’s. I know my financial contribution is small in comparison to your overhead but I wish you could find a way to preserve this annual 4th of July event. For many of us it’s more that the fireworks. It’s an opportunity to reconnect with our youth.

  4. I didn’t grow up in Red Bank but often lived close by in neighboring towns. My family had a small boat that they kept docked in the area and for years the Forth of July fireworks on the Navesink were the event of the summer. Although I now live in CA, the rest of my family still attends the fireworks as a yearly tradition that goes back 25 years or so. There will definitely be a large void with the Red Bank fireworks not happening.

    That being said, I believe the borough is absolutely doing the right thing. It’s sad to say, but fireworks displays are the type of luxury we will have to learn to live without until our economy improves. There are so many important things $30,000 can pay for. Kudos to the Borough of Red Bank for doing the responsible thing.

  5. Everyone looks forward to this day, especially college students who are home for summer. LETS FUND RAISE PEOPLE!

  6. Wow, for a town on the decline this is a big nail in the coffin, penny wise,pound foolish in my opinion.

  7. This is one event that the family and I always look forward to. July 3rd won’t be the same without them. I’m sure the neighboring businesses would pitch in if asked, from the Party Boats to Fuel Docks, etc… who derive some benefit from the fireworks.

  8. Its Kinda Funny….. Kaboom raised 14k last from 32 corporations? that less the 500 a company…. they say 125 people attend on the Rb side …not including the boats… they need 300k that’s easy 3 bucks a head??? hit the bars up, they kill it that night…. I know its not easy to plan this event… Hats off to the people in the past years!!! if its only the money, they need to hit up small people for small amounts…. pass it on!!!!
    2 minutes ago · Like

    • such a great idea. i wouldn’t mind paying $3 or even a little more if it kept it going!

  9. Everyone loves the fireworks, but it has to be paid for. Even some of our beloved annual traditions fall victim to a sour economy. Red Bank is still a great town and it will survive just fine. My guess is that this is not forever, and maybe in a few years we will see it resurrected. Hopefully, the Kabosh on the Kaboom is only temporary. Keep the faith.

  10. Cannot afford 300k for our Independence Day. But can pay 12.3 Mil to move sand from Ocean bottom to beaches.

  11. Well every year, they have the volunteers going around collecting money to support the show. If you never donated; don’t complain..

  12. Yes this is a shame, especially for local businesses that really look forward to the summer boost of business leading up to this event. The town is packed and the businesses love it. So everyone living along the Navesink who have huge Red Bank Firework parties every year. I wonder how much all those living along the Navesink contribute to the fireworks and are they doing their part? Let’s face it one mini concert from Bruce or Jon B. could single handedly pay for this event.

  13. Why don’t they ask the security force to donate their time to the event?

  14. There are only so many entrance roads into Red Bank, have volunteers stationed at those crossroads for automobile donations on the way in and on the way out. It really is only two or three dollars per person!

  15. Sorry to hear that they are cancelled. The Colts Neck Country Fair will be having two nights of fireworks June 29 and June 30. The fair will be from 4-11 both nights with fireworks at 10 pm nightly. Come join us for a Rodeo themed event.

  16. Not sure I would like to contribute to a bucket with no bottom. The disorderly people who turn a family fun event into a reckless amusement for themselves, the drunkards, or the people who stampede over families because they have to be home in time to watch Jersey Shore, ruined it for Red Bank.

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