Local News

City approves partial funding for fireworks

SEBRING - It appears as though Sebring will have a Fourth of July celebration with fireworks, after all.

Recently, organizers of a two-day festival that included the fireworks show, said they might cancel the event because it appeared no one was prepared to pay the $15,000 estimated cost of doing the fireworks display.

But on Tuesday evening, the Sebring City Council guaranteed $10,000 for the fireworks, and that was beside a $2,500 contribution from a major sponsor who was not identified.

As a result of that, Casey Wohl and Lora Todd of Push Productions say they will continue planning for the two-day festival, expected to have food vendors and activities for children, music and patriotic events, such as a historical re-enactment, in conjunction with the fireworks show.

When the Sebring Community Redevelopment Agency meets April 14, it will be asked to contribute $5,000 toward the cost of the festival, city officials said.

Mayor John Shoop said he received a $2,500 commitment from a sponsor, but did not name the person at the council meeting. Shoop strongly advocated the city contributing toward the fireworks.

City officials plan to seek the remaining $2,500 from the private sector.

The problem began when the Rotary Club of Sebring, which had been in charge of the fireworks previously, ended its participation.

Sebring City Administrator Scott Noethlich said Rotary members and city officials tried to find another organization to take over responsibility for the fireworks, but no one was willing to do that.

Noethlich said Pyro Display, the company that puts on the fireworks show, has agreed to do Sebring's fireworks the same day as the displays planned for Avon Park and Lake Placid.

Last year, some people questioned why Sebring's fireworks was held on July 5.

Councilman John Griffin suggested that having the display on Saturday, July 5, this year, would draw more people, but other officials mentioned last year's criticisms.

Discussion of the fireworks situation was prompted by a letter from Wohl and Todd, raising concerns about the event.

They questioned whether any concerted effort was being made to raise the money for the fireworks display.


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