Can You Spare a Few Bucks for Some Fireworks?

With budgets strained, the city has set up a donation page on its website where residents can contribute toward Monrovia's Independence Day celebration.

Times are tough, and fireworks aren't free.

For the first time, the city is reaching out to residents to help fund its annual fireworks show. A Paypal donation button has been added to the city's website, where donors are invited to contribute any amount.

"Support your annual Fourth of July festivities and Fireworks Show with a donation of any amount," the site reads. "The Monrovia Department of Community Services appreciates your contribution to this event."

In March, the City Council approved a $20,500 contract with Pyro Spectaculars--the same company that produces the famous Rose Bowl show--to put on Monrovia's Independence Day fireworks display, according to a council agenda report. The company has contracted with Monrovia since 2010.

Kerry Zessau, a recreation supervisor for the city, said the goal is to pay for the city's fireworks show entirely through donations. The total cost of the event is expected to be $43,000, and the city has already raised about $33,300, Zessau said.

Instead of relying entirely on sponsorships--like a $5,000 donation from Mayor Mary Ann Lutz and her husband--the Community Services Department wanted to expand the fundraising to the general public.

"We also wanted to give the community an opportunity to sponsor in any amount," she said. "We want to bring out the masses. We do need the community's help."

If the city can't raise the remaining funds, the balance will be paid with money from the Community Services budget, Zessau said.

Monrovia first began hosting a fireworks show in 2002 on Myrtle Avenue, where it was held until 2008. Because of construction in Old Town, the city put on a concert in 2009 in lieu of the fireworks show, bringing it back again to in 2010.

4th of July Event information:

  • Concert featuring "Person to Person," 7:00 p.m. (top 40’s cover band that will play some patriotic music)
  • Fireworks Show 9:00 p.m. in Library Park
Namaste June 01, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Sorry, I have enough of my own financial issues to "waste" money on fireworks.
Judy Taylor June 01, 2012 at 04:41 PM
My family looks forward to the well-behaved crowd at the Library Park for the Fourth of July fireworks. I'll join in contributing to this community gathering.
Janie Duncan June 01, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Sorry, I think there are much more important needs in the city of Monrovia rather than fireworks. If you want to do a good deed for the city why not donate non clumping kitty litter to the Monrovia Animal Control. They have a constant need and I feel helping Monrovia's pets is a much bigger priority than fireworks that are gone in minutes with nothing to show for it. You can watch it at our nation's capitol on TV for free!
R8dermon June 01, 2012 at 05:11 PM
The City has wasted so much money in past few years. Starting with the Goldline dilemma and Colorado Commons. Now they need money for the fireworks. Maybe they would have money if they had not wasted it paying the smoke shop owner to leave that must has cost $10,000-$15,000. Plus recently they gave $750,000.00 to the owner of the auto mall to reface one of his buildings. We wont see any money from that investment for over 10 years if ever. But they need money. Hmmmmm
Chris Ziegler June 01, 2012 at 06:06 PM
I wonder if it is possible to quantify the full impacts of giving tax dollars to developers? From the comments above, it sure sounds like there is a hit to community morale and a boost to cynicism. Perhaps, a detailed tutorial complete with a comprehensive financial diagram on our city's website would be a good investment.
Richard Christy June 01, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Fourth of July is an American tradition that is enjoyed by many. Who really cares that you want to donate for clumping litter instead of this, that's your prerogative. But, I shutter to think of the shut in TV heads that think that watching the world go by on a TV set is at all a substitution for getting out and doing things in real life. There are other shows around to go see, but please get away from the TV set.
Karen Suarez June 01, 2012 at 10:03 PM
They are pretty, and nice to look at. I hate what they do to dogs. Not to mention what they pollute. So not where I would put my money.
Erin Thorn June 02, 2012 at 03:51 PM
This is about the Independence Day celebration, not the Gold Line or kitty litter. If you don't want to participate, don't. It says right up above that the the city's goal is to rely entirely on sponsorships. If you are a Monrovian who attends this event and wants it to continue, then you should try to give a donation. If not, don't. Thanks for posting the information.
Robert Parry June 02, 2012 at 06:35 PM
The total cost of $43,000 works out to about $1 per resident. The savings most Monrovians enjoy simply by walking downtown instead of driving across the county is well worth it. This sort of small-town-style event is exactly what sets Monrovia apart. There's always somewhere else you can put a dollar, if you simply want to be a nay sayer. And, asking people to pay for it is, from my pespective, vastly better than taking money out of a safety or public works program. It's a great thing for the community.
Nematoda June 02, 2012 at 06:52 PM
I hope, for the money, Pyro Spectaculars avoids the glitches that undermined the show last year (to refresh your memory, a lot people were not sure when the show ended because the finale was not synced properly with the music, and after the finale, solitary rockets kept exploding for about 10 minutes). Of course, if the show was paid for with private funds, I'm not going to complain too much, but still ... As for all the "sticks-in-the-mud," c'mon guys. This is a very nice family event, and it's wonderful to have a local fireworks show. There are always "better things to spend money" on.
Jerry Baker June 04, 2012 at 03:50 PM
If a business cannot get a loan on the market, the market is signaling that the likelihood of earning a return on that investment is low. For government to jump in and provide that loan amounts to subsidizing businesses and projects that the free market wouldn't otherwise support. I don't think opposition to giving tax dollars to developers stems from a misunderstanding, but an opposition to using taxpayer money to prevent the free market from working. I believe those funds would better be used investing in things like Monrovia schools, roads, and parks.
Chris Ziegler June 04, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Jerry, I wish it were easy to spin conversations on to another thread because the discussion of finances, (primarily public pensions and subsidies/redevelopment), is an important one and I really would to chase it out and hear other view points: In my personal preference for public policy, I would be against redevelopment but when we mix-in a dose of reality; i.e. our services are funded in part by sales taxes and other cities will attract businesses with incentives, so we have to compete if we want to enjoy our enjoyable quality of life. That said, I wish there were an easy to understand mapping of the funds used in redevelopment because it makes me nervous when there are complex finacial happenings, as that limits the amount of oversight. Oversight/transparancy are essential when the human species is involved. The other issue of pensions increasingly concerns me because as more of use lose our wealth (we just took a 20% for hit this year) the mentailty of, "why vote for more taxes, when our taxes are just going to bailout lavish and unreasonable retirement obligations for the folks that mismanaged our resources?" For the record I don't think poorly of the public sector as a whole but clearly there is a problem with senior managment, either incompetence or neglegence - senior managers have alllowed this bus to be driven a very deep ditch and didn't say a word to the contrary!
Jerry Baker June 04, 2012 at 04:29 PM
"our services are funded in part by sales taxes and other cities will attract businesses with incentives, so we have to compete if we want to enjoy our enjoyable quality of life." That's not good enough for me. Stealing is a more efficient way to make money than working, but I don't let that steer me to stealing for a living. Some things are just wrong. "For the record I don't think poorly of the public sector as a whole but clearly there is a problem with senior managment, either incompetence or neglegence - senior managers have alllowed this bus to be driven a very deep ditch and didn't say a word to the contrary!" Elected officials are the only people who can approve employment contracts, not senior management. The retirement problem isn't born of outlandish retirements, it's born out of placing too much faith in the stock market as a retirement vehicle. Everybody, including pension funds, assumed they could put their money in the stock market and count on returns (don't forget that some less-then-stellar financial planners were proposing to put all of Social Security into the same boat back in 2006 - thank God that didn't happen). Nobody had forecast the possibility that all of their investments would evaporate. What's really happening is that government bet its shirt on the stock market for funding their retirement system and the stock market failed to perform. Now governments have to figure out how to fund what Wall Street didn't.
SgtJackWagon July 05, 2012 at 05:34 AM
I bet if I asked 20 people in the age group of 16 to 20 why do we celebrate the 4th of July as a holiday, 15 wouldn't be able to give a sound reason. You would get the typical response of, "I have no idea......... it's another day off who cares........it's so we can go to the river and party.......the 4th that's Barbecue day isn't it I constantly hear "Happy 4th of July." huh? what? I might as well hear "Happy 23th of March." I must of heard "Happy 4th of July" from friends and just coming into contact with people on the street 30 times today. But it took a 27 year old man that I spoke with via the Internet that resides in Thane, close to Mumbai, India, 10,000 miles away, over 2 oceans, to get it right, when Shahbaz wished me a "Happy Independence Day. With that said watching $50,000,00 of fireworks go up in smoke in 25 minutes doesn't make a lot of sense to me. There's other situations that could put that money to good use. Isn't a portion of the Western United States on fire, as we speak? We need to educate people to the degree that they should know why these holidays are celebrated so the disrespect to the ones that came before us, is a thing of the past.
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