Taxpayers shelling out fewer dollars for fireworks displays

Companies, others help Butler County governments fund festivities.

HOW TO GO

Middletown: Broad Street Blast

Broad Street Bash: 11:15 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday

Fireworks: Dusk

Liberty Twp.: Light Up Liberty

6 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Princeton Pike Church of God

Fireworks: Dusk

Fairfield: Red, White and Kaboom!

7 p.m. Sunday. Three viewing areas: Harbin Parks, Village Green Park, Aquatic Center.

Fireworks: 10 p.m.

Oxford: Freedom Fest

6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Oxford Community Park

Fireworks: 10 p.m.

Hamilton: 4th of July Parade and Celebration

9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, Butler County Fairgrounds (Parade: from the fairgrounds, west down Dayton Street, south on 7th Street and west on High Street, ending at the Butler County Courthouse.

Fireworks: 10 p.m. This year’s display will be launched from Veterans Park so the fireworks can be seen more clearly around the city.

Monroe: Parade and Festival

11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday, Monroe Community Park (Parade: Macready Avenue, to Elm Street, south on Main Street to Monroe Community Park).

Fireworks: 10 p.m.

Civic organizations, a local musician and companies are helping add more boom to some of this weekend’s fireworks displays across Butler County.

In Hamilton, none of the money that’s fueling Monday’s 10 p.m. pyrotechnics will come from taxpayers. Instead, half the $10,000 being paid to Rozzi Famous Fireworks will come from “David Shaw’s Big River Get Down presented by Miller Lite” show on Sept. 1o at the RiversEdge Amphitheater, said city spokesman Adam Helms.

“This is David Shaw’s way of giving back to his hometown,” Helms said.

The other half of the fireworks cost is coming from other sponsors, including the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Groth Family, and Richard’s Pizza.

The city also doesn’t finance RiversEdge concerts, which instead are aided by such sponsors as Fort Hamilton Hospital, Chaco Credit Union, IBEW Local 648, Hamilton Courtyard by Marriott, and MillerCoors, although Hamilton does provide logistical help. Helms said the city provides an estimated $2,000 worth of labor from city workers to support the July 4 event.

“The 4th of July in Hamilton is a highlight of the summer for our residents,” Helms said. “This year’s theme is celebrating Hamilton’s History with Arts.”

A new feature this year is the fireworks’ launch location: “We will be lighting the fireworks at Veterans Park on New London Road,” Helms said. “This park has a higher elevation and should provide better vantage points of the fireworks for residents throughout the city.”

In Middletown, which last year offered its first fireworks display in many years at a cost of $13,000, city government is supporting a full-day event Saturday, with its Broad Street Bash, from 11:15 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The "Broad Street Blast" fireworks start at dusk.

Legendary Entertainment is providing fireworks for $13,000. The Rick Derringer Band will be paid $10,000, and a park pond was stocked with fish at a cost of $1,880 for a children’s fishing derby, said city Public Safety Director David VanArsdale.

“With other miscellaneous items, such as additional restrooms, lighting, overtime, the total will be around $30,000,” he said, adding that more than half that cost will come from sponsors.

“This event has a high value in quality of life,” VanArsdale said.

Some of the event’s largest sponsors were Ohio Eagle Distributing in Monroe, $6,000; Premier Health, $2,500; I-75 Pierson Automotive, $2,100 plus use of three golf carts; Cummings Taxi and Shuttle Service, $1,500; Middletown Community Foundation, $1,000; and Magellan Aerospace, $1,000.

Fairfield’s Red White and Kaboom! celebration fireworks have cost around $45,000 annually for the past few years, said Mary Hopton, the city’s finance director. While the event itself has sponsors, the money for Rozzi Famous Fireworks’ show comes from general tax dollars.

“It’s really based on the available budget and we try not to go higher but still provide a good show for the residents,” Hopton said. “That’s what we budget and we’ve stuck with that amount. Rozzi’s has also been very accommodating with our budget.”

Fairfield’s display will have three main viewing areas. Village Green and Harbin Park will be free for those wanting to view the fireworks. For a $5 admission fee at the Aquatic Center, residents can enjoy the fireworks poolside.

Monroe will hold Light Up The Sky on Sunday, a free festival and fireworks display at Monroe Community Park. Rozzi’s also puts on that fireworks display.

Monroe’s display will start at 10 p.m. at the park, hosted by the city and the Monroe Lions Club. According to the Monroe Lions Club website, the club organizes the display every year with help from sponsors.