July 4th Wallingford Fireworks in Jeopardy

In this photo taken July 12, 2014, U.S. Coast Guard Seaman Robert Von Bargen is silhouetted by fireworks as he and other Coast Guard personnel out of Station Kings Point, N.Y., keep watch near a barge shooting fireworks off Glen Island in western Long Island Sound near New Rochelle, N.Y. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Fireworks displays date back to 1777 and as a town who claims a signer of the Declaration of Independence, many now worry Wallingford will not see them anymore.

“It’s the 4th of July. You have to have fireworks in a small town like Wallingford,” said Wallingford neighbor Jeff Beaton.

“It boils down to civic pride, tradition,” said real estate agent, Wayne Harriman who started a petition to push the town to pay for the display. He’s collected about 800 signatures to keep them.

Harriman says back in 2009 the town stopped paying for them because of the economic uncertainty at the time. Since then volunteers stepped up to fundraise the $40,000 to keep them, but they’re stopping this year.

Harriman said, “They don’t have the time. They’re tired and they want to spend more time with their families because this is a big investment in time and effort.”

Many like Harriman think the town should step in again.

“They have the funds. It’s just a decision on whether or not they want to allocate those funds for this event,” said Harriman.

Wallingford’s Dana Brown and Jeff Beaton say they would like to see the town pay for them.

“[If you] don’t see the families walking downtown. That’s huge to not have something like that take place. It’s very saddening,” said Brown.

News 8’s Stephanie Simoni called the Wallingford Mayor, William Dickinson Jr. to comment about this story and he has not called her back for a comment.

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