Family 4th fireworks show canceled due to lack of money

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by TRAVIS PITTMAN / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 1, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 1 at 5:31 PM

Poll:
Are you upset the Family 4th at Lake Union is canceled?

The Family 4th at Lake Union fireworks show in Seattle will not happen this year because organizers haven't raised enough money.

One Reel, which produces the show at a cost of about $500,000, said Monday it can't move forward with the funds it has now.

“Unfortunately, the support for the Family 4th this year did not materialize,” said One Reel executive director John Stone “There are deadlines with these types of things that can’t come up at the last minute.”

One Reel has spent the past nine months trying to raise money for the 4th of July tradition. Despite a major fundraising campaign in March, the group only received $55,000 in donations.  Stone said everyone who made a contribution will get a refund.

For several years, the Family 4th was sponsored by large corporations. That ended after the 2009 show when Chase Bank pulled out. In 2010, the show was almost canceled because of a lack of funding. A last-minute grassroots effort saved the event.

But Stone says the only thing that could save the 2013 show is if a client or corporate sponsor comes forward to pay the entire bill. Stone said he doubts that will happen.

“I think the economy, the recession, changed everything,” said Stone.

"It is unfortunate that the event does not appear to be working out this year as it traditionally does at Gas Works Park. I will be meeting with local business leaders and stakeholders to discuss options," said Mayor Mike McGinn in a statement.

The $500,000 amounts to about $1 per every per every person expected to watch it either in person at Gas Works Park, around Lake Union or on television. One Reel said it has waived any profit from the event because of the larger value that the show provides to the community.

One Reel has produced the Family 4th at Lake Union for the past 24 years. There was one year in the early 90's when the group did not produce a show. Stone said few people realized that because Ivars was still sponsoring it's fireworks show at the time. 

KING 5 reporter Angela King contributed to this article.

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