Knowledge is a core value at SCG. This weekly column highlights something interesting learned recently by one of our team members. We hope you find it intriguing, relevant and informative.
Like many of you, I spent last Wednesday watching a 4th of July fireworks display with my family. “Like many of you,” that is, unless you were planning to watch them in St. Paul, which made headlines by canceling this year’s show due to budget concerns.
Estimated to run St. Paul around $100,000, the cost of fireworks displays can light up a city’s budget just as much as the night sky. With hundreds of smaller cities around the state hosting fireworks displays, this got me curious about how much pressure these annual displays of patriotism put on other cities’ budgets. I decided to do some investigating, and as you might imagine, the exact numbers aren’t easy to find. But a few totals I did find may also make you go “ooh” and “ahh”:
- St. Cloud’s annual display cost approximately $60,000 in 2014 according to this Star Tribune article.
- Richfield’s 4th of July celebration cost more than $91,000 in 2011 based on this local Patch article.
- Stillwater’s currently runs around $57,000, Brainerd’s Independence Day celebration costs $47,000 and Delano’s week-long celebration tops $200,000 per the Star Tribune.
Of course, the fireworks themselves aren’t the only expense. Many cities make a full day, or even a full week, out of their 4th of July celebrations. Additional costs include security, parades, advertising, promotional items, insurance and more.
And while many cities are large enough to cover the cost of their fireworks displays and celebrations (and have a large enough business base to solicit donations), for many cities, these celebrations take a lot of time, volunteer effort and money. With that added perspective, I hope we’ll all appreciate next year’s fireworks display just a little bit more.
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