WICHITA, Kan. - Since 2008, the City of Wichita has not sponsored a Fourth of July fireworks display. This year will be no different. "We have participated in the past, financially, but unable to because our resources are very limited," said John D'Angelo, director of Arts and Cultural Services for the City of Wichita.
Money is the reason why there won't be fireworks lighting up downtown Wichita on July 4th. "The city's always tried to be a good partner on all sorts of community activities. Unfortunately with the economy and some of the reductions we've had to absorb, we've had to kind of cut back on some of those sponsorships," said D'Angelo.
Since the money was coming from taxpayers, through a limited contingency fund, the City chose to stop the funding. The contingency fund within the Convention and Visitors Bureau Fund, helps sponsor events such as Wichita River Festival, Prairie Fire Run, and Bowling Congress. "The fund's healthy. We're not in any deficit, but unfortunately, we have less funds for as many projects that we get requests for," said D'Angelo.
Without the City's help, Lawrence-Dumont Stadium could not afford to pay for the extra costs associated with putting a separate Independence Day fireworks show. "With any large event and gathering of people, you have to boost security. Those shows can be very expensive. Without the sponsorship, without the funding, without the support, it was tough to manage," said Ben Keiter, assistant general manager for the Wichita Wingnuts.
Instead of a Fourth of July fireworks show, the Wichita Wingnuts is hosting "Fireworks Fridays" after every home game this regular season. This Friday, they have fireworks and the "Salute to America" program. "The only fireworks shoot you're going to see in downtown area will be right here Friday night, so we welcome the city of Wichita, the outer lying communities," said Keiter.
However, fireworks displays will be happening around the community on July 4th and July 5th.
*Augusta: Augusta City Lake, 9 p.m.
*Derby: High Park, 2801 E. James, 9:40 p.m.
*El Dorado: Prairie Trails Golf Course, dusk
*Garden Plain: Garden Plain City Park, 500 N. Section Line, 10 p.m.
*Goddard: Discovery Intermediate School, 310 S. Main, dusk
*Haysville: Riggs Park, 700 Sarah Ln., 9:45 p.m.
*Hutchinson: Kansas State Fairgrounds, East parking area, 9:45 p.m.
*Maize: Maize City Park, dusk
*Newton: Fischer Field Stadium at Athletic Park, 10 p.m.
*Park City: 6801 N. Hydraulic, 10 p.m.
*Wichita: Wichita Country Club, Crestview Country Club, Rolling Hills Country Club, Terradyne Country Club, The Moorings