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Grand Haven fireworks in jeopardy without public help

6:08 PM, May 15, 2013   |    comments
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(AP image)

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) - Grand Haven's fireworks celebration could be in jeopardy this Fourth of July, unless the city comes up with thousands of dollars.

The group that sponsored the event for two decades has pulled out due to financial problems.

"You could not have a show, but you don't want to do that because that disappoints a lot of people," says Geri McCaleb, Mayor of Grand Haven.

City leaders are now asking for donations after learning that the Jaycees Club, which has sponsored the event for 20 years, has dropped out.

"I know their membership is down," says Mayor McCaleb.

In fact, the fireworks operator from last year, Mad Bombers out of Indiana, tells WZZM 13 they're still owed about $14,000 of the $24,000 for the show.

Every year $10,000 of city tax dollars go to the fireworks, but this year the city also needs $14,000 in donations.

Everyone WZZM 13 spoke to in the downtown area were supportive of the idea.

"No fireworks and you're not going to get the people down here and businesses are going to suffer," says one Grand Haven resident.

"It's worth it because a lot of people come from all over Michigan to go to Grand Haven," says another man.

"They come here, they eat here, they come to the campground for it, it's good for Grand Haven," says another woman.

WZZM 13 asked Mayor McCaleb if there would be a fireworks show without donations. "I just don't want to believe that's going to happen," she replied.

The fireworks company from last year has submitted a proposal to run the show this year, but city leaders haven't made a final decision yet; they want to see how much money is available and where they get the best offer.

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