POTTSTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Along High Street in Pottstown, all signs lead you to believe this town’s July 4th celebration is a sure thing. Flags are out, portable toilets are in place, and police have plastered “No Parking” signs for the holiday parade.
But the party this year has been anything but guaranteed.
The town’s two-day event, capped by fireworks in Memorial Park, costs about $60,000, raised through donations, but organizers say they only have $16,000 on hand.
“It’s been tough,” said event co-chair Karen Imes. “It’s about a quarter (of what we need). It’s not enough.”
Still, Imes vows the show will go on, at least this year. But without more money, this will likely be the event’s final year.
“I think it’s sad, really, that it might die out because of this year and lack of funds,” said Ron Moyer, a Vietnam War veteran who’s co-chaired the July 4th event for 32 years. Organizers say it’s the biggest celebration in Pottstown, but when they reached out to 150 businesses for donations this spring, they only heard back from four.
“The town loves this. We have fireworks, hot air balloons, entertainment, rides for the kids,” said Imes. “It’s very important, especially for the children. They have to know what that day means. It’s something that should be kept going.”
Right now, organizers are hoping for some last-minute donations and excellent weather, which will bring in more money from food and games concessions.
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“It’s one of the events the town looks forward to so hopefully they’ll be able to pull it off,” said Kitty Papp, a lifelong Pottstown resident who’s taken her grandkids.
This Montgomery County town is not the only suburban community struggling to put on a July 4th celebration. Medford, N.J. canceled its fireworks show again this summer due to lack of funds. Gloucester City was able to save its display, but only through a $15,000 donation from Holt Logistics.
Reported by Ben Simmoneau, CBS 3