Economy rains on Plymouth’s July 4 parade
It’s the bad economy -- not rain -- that’s spoiling this year’s July 4 parade in America’s Hometown.
Organizers of the town’s holiday celebration say they failed to raise enough money for the annual fireworks display on the Plymouth waterfront and the town parade, and decided to forego the parade.
“Like other non-profits, we’ve lived off of benevolent donors for years, but this year is tough,” said the president of the town’s July 4 Inc. organization, Kenneth Tavares. “We just can’t raise the $90,000 it takes to put on the whole event so we opted for the fireworks. It was a hard choice because some people like the parade.”
But the parade requires a host of volunteers and even more time from police, fire, and public works crews for clean-up.
“The estimate for town services for the parade and fireworks was $36,473 this year,” Tavares said. “It’s not the town’s fault, but we couldn’t afford it.”
July 4th Inc. has raised most of the $65,000 needed for the fireworks, including a $10,000 donation from the Visitors Services Board, Tavares said. Coming up with another $25,000 or more for the parade is beyond reach, he said.
Plymouth Rock Studios, which wants to build a major movie-production studio in Plymouth, rescued the holiday celebration last year with a $50,000 donation.
Tavares said it was unrealistic to expect that kind of support from any single entity.
“We’re not throwing in the towel on the parade for good,” he said. “We just have to cut back this year. We’ll start fundraising in the fall for a complete event next year.”
Project Arts is sponsoring a free Air Force Band performance on the waterfront from 7 to 9 p.m. July 4 as a lead in to the fireworks display, Tavares said.
Anyone interested in donating money towards the fireworks display can send a check made out to July 4 Inc. to P.O. Box 1776, Plymouth, MA 02362.
Patriot Ledger writer Tamara Race may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.