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Budget Problems May Bring An End To Annual New Rochelle Firework Display

Credit CBS 2

Credit CBS 2

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A budget squeeze is threatening the annual July 4th fireworks display, and the city manager told CBS 2’s Lou Young that he has run out of items to cut from his budget.

“We’ve excised 10-percent of our workforce. We’ve cut a lot of services. Beyond cultural events we’ve got to cut people and services,” Chuck Strome said.

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The fireworks have been a hallmark event for a decade. Thousands of people line up in the park to watch the pyrotechnics being launched from an island in the harbor. The display was visible from all of the surrounding towns and across the water on Long Island.

Residents said they are upset that they will be missing the spectacle this year.

“It has been the local thing, for people to come out and have a meal and enjoy. But I guess, no more,” Barbara Bruck said.

Other towns in the area have either cancelled their displays altogether or changed the dates to avoid paying employees holiday overtime.

The New Rochelle display costs $30,000 for the explosives alone and an additional $45,000 for police, fire and park workers. The event could be saved by donations from a private citizen, but some residents told CBS 2 that the writing is on the wall.

“It’s my belief that the event outside of the big, big places like New York City are going to disappear in the next couple of years,” Strome said.

Will there be a display in your home town this year? Let us know…