Letter: Elburn Chamber suspends fireworks

By on September 16, 2010

A year ago, the president of the Elburn Chamber of Commerce received a call from the Los Angeles Times for an interview concerning our Fireworks Day in the Park.

The Times was doing a story on the mass cancellations of Fourth of July fireworks programs all across America due to the economy and wanted to know how our small town could keep doing them. It really hadn’t occurred to us not to.

The Elburn Chamber truly enjoyed putting on a fireworks program for 12 out of the last 13 years, hoping only to break even on the event. The dollars came mostly from local businesses that generously sponsored it through donations and by purchasing banner ads for the day.

But in the last two years, the economy has hit these businesses hard, and extra money for this event just isn’t there. The chamber tried to raise the needed funds through other means, and for those who participated in them, we thank you very much. Still this year, the event went $5,000 in the hole, and that is beyond the resources of the chamber to sustain. A decision was made to suspend chamber-sponsored fireworks in Elburn until the economy recovers.

The decision was not an easy one and came only after much debate. Some residents of Elburn have wondered if the fireworks weren’t just a waste of money. I, for one, did not agree with that sentiment, but in the present economy and with so little dollars available for more pressing needs, it doesn’t make sense to continue them. That however, doesn’t mean that some other organization couldn’t decide to take up the project. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Lion’s or other service organizations, or even the village of Elburn, could host them if they desired. But at least for now, the chamber cannot.

Those of us on the chamber thank every one of you who have participated in one way or another to help with these events over the years. The fireworks events gave us wonderful memories and enriched the days of our lives. Maybe one day in the future, they will again.

Pastor Gary Augustine