Fourth of July fireworks in Meriden cancelled due to budget cuts

MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Hubbard Park in Meriden is already decked out with red, white and blue American flags hanging from trees and poles for the upcoming 4th of July holiday. But one thing will be missing this year — the annual fireworks show — it’s canceled. The news is hitting some residents hard.

“I’m disappointed,” said Marlene McGann.

“You want to have something to look forward to and to gather and bring your kids and it’s sad that they’re not going to do it this year,” Jamie Morel said.

The reason why the skies won’t light up red, white and blue this year is because of a lack of green. Meriden, like many Connecticut cities, is strapped for cash and financing a fireworks show could come at the expense of other essential city services and programs.

“What happened is basically last year, our city council voted not to fund the fireworks celebration and last year we had a local business step up and provide the money to do that,” said Chris Bourdon, Director of Meriden’s Parks and Recreation Department. “This year the business was not able to do that hence there is no funding for the fireworks display.”

Bourdon says a typical fireworks show at Hubbard Park costs the city about $20,000 and another $5,000 for entertainment. Residents News8 spoke with say they realize that’s a lot of money, but they also wish something could be done to save this great American and Meriden tradition — fireworks at Hubbard Park.

“I know it’s a lot of money to stage fireworks and I know the state budget’s bad and the towns are feeling the pinch, but it really has been something special for families over the years,” Marlene said.

“It’s a tough decision to make,” Bourdon said. “It certainly isn’t the city being unpatriotic……But at the same time when the funds aren’t there you have to make tough decisions.”

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