4th of July fireworks shows: is the bang worth the buck?

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — As most of us get ready to celebrate the red, white and blue, it’s been the lack of green from Hartford that’s hampered many Connecticut cities and towns.

That’s also caused some locals to think long and hard about whether to pay for 4th of July fireworks displays.

Waterbury’s big celebration is on. The city is paying an international company called Pirotecnico $25,000 to launch a dazzling display of fireworks from Holyland — high atop the city.

The company has put on fireworks shows at big events around the world, including the Super Bowl.

Waterbury’s Director of Operations, Joe Geary, says the city’s show Sunday night will be dynamite.

“Certainly there’s no question that there’s nothing more American than fireworks on the 4th of July,” said Geary. “Mayor O’Leary feels very deeply about that.”

We asked residents if they think the bang is worth the buck.

“Most definitely,” said Spencer Parrish.

“Ah no!” said Domenica Perrino. “That money could be used towards something else more important.”

“Of course you wonder could the money be used elsewhere but I just think it’s a slice of Americana to be able to provide the fireworks,” Geary said. “Everybody likes to come out.

I think it brings out camaraderie amongst residents, among neighbors.”

Geary says Waterbury budgeted for the fireworks a long time ago and is on enough solid financial ground to shell out the dough.

“For $25,000 in a $400 million budget I think it’s a small price to pay for a series of events and entertainment for the residents on and around the 4th of July every year.”

Geary says under the city’s deal with the company, if there is a year when they can’t afford the fireworks, the city can back out without incurring any financial penalty.

Geary also says because of the big crowds that flock to The Brass City every year for the 4th, there could be a bigger financial gain to the city at places like Brass Mill Center mall and for the food truck vendors who gather in the parking lot for the festivities.

“Definitely the payoff could be much bigger,” said Spencer. “If they just come in and buy 2 or 3 gallons of gas, at least somebody is getting some benefit.”

Waterbury’s fireworks fire off from Holyland at nightfall Sunday, July 2nd. There should be spectacular views from all over the city.

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