Tahoe City Fourth of July: Future of fireworks show fickle
June 22, 2011
TAHOE CITY, Calif. andamp;#8212; Tahoe City will have a fireworks show this upcoming Fourth of July, but beyond then, the seminal local event is in doubt.The Tahoe City Fourth of July Celebration and Fireworks Show at Commons Beach is organized and managed by the Tahoe City Downtown Association.However, due to fundraising shortfalls from last year, the financial stability of the event has organizers fretting over its future.andamp;#8220;It looks like we will be able to pay for this yearandamp;#8217;s show due to some large donations from local restaurants,andamp;#8221; said Justin Broglio, TCDA executive director. andamp;#8220;But I am extremely worried about the future.andamp;#8221;
The trouble began in 2010, when TCDA was unable to conduct its traditional boot drive andamp;#8212; in which volunteers post up at the andamp;#8220;Wyeandamp;#8221; intersection with standard issue firefighter boots and collect donations from idle motorists andamp;#8212; due to permitting issues with Caltrans.Typically, TCDA raises funds through the boot drive, donations from local businesses, sponsorship fees and alternative collection strategies such as placing donation barrels around town, and uses the funds collected in one year to pay for the following yearandamp;#8217;s show.The contract with Pyro Spectaculars amounted to $16,000 in 2010, and is the same amount in 2011, Broglio said.However, TCDA only collected $2,500 last year, and was able to put an $8,000 deposit in April toward this Julyandamp;#8217;s show.Thus, the association has had to raise money to cover the costs of this yearandamp;#8217;s show during a time period when it typically raises funds for the following year.andamp;#8220;Basically, I have to raise $24,000 before July 5 to guarantee we have a show (in 2012),andamp;#8221; Broglio said.Thus, TCDA members have ratcheted up efforts to collect donations, starting a Facebook page, putting boots in local bars, establishing donation barrels at the Farmerandamp;#8217;s Market, sending direct-mail and contacting second home owners through homeowner associations.andamp;#8220;The fireworks show is vital to everyone in town,andamp;#8221; said TCDA President Brendan Madigan. andamp;#8220;Itandamp;#8217;s a marquee event with a storied history and itandamp;#8217;s huge for the local business andamp;#8212; particularly for the restaurants.andamp;#8221;Brian Beeler, general manager of Lakeside Pizza, said the Fourth of July is one of the top four busiest days at the venue.andamp;#8220;Not having the fireworks at all would be devastating,andamp;#8221; he said. andamp;#8220;There would be a lot of dollars lost in this community, for sure.andamp;#8221;Madigan emphasized itandamp;#8217;s not just the business community, but the community at large that would suffer if the event were discontinued. Those interested in making a donation should visit facebook.com/savetahoecityfireworks or tahoecityfireworks.com.