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Sugar House volunteer organizers keep flame of Fourth of July tradition

Thursday, June 21, 2012519 views

Last year it was all up in the air -- it seemed like the annual Sugar House fireworks display would die due to a lack of support and funding. But the community pulled together and sparked up fundraising support for the long running local tradition.

The annual fireworks display at Sugar House Park (2100 South 1300 East) is a popular draw for residents across the Salt Lake Valley each Fourth of July. This year, the fireworks will be organized and supported by concerned local residents who are working to gather donations to fund the event.

Sugar House Park Board President Mark Morris said the board is pleased to have the fireworks display at the park again this year. He said the fireworks show must go on, because it’s become a yearly draw for families and an important part of the local culture.

“We absolutely are [having the annual fireworks display],” Morris said. “As far as we’re concerned, it’s a great local tradition.”

This year, the annual Fourth of July fireworks display will be held locally at Sugar House Park at sundown on Wednesday, July 4. Residents are invited to bring blankets, lawn chairs, coolers, family and friends for the free display.

Up until three years ago, the Fourth of July fireworks display at the park was paid for with funding from the Sugar House Park Board budget. But lean times during the years of economic recession forced the board to pull funding because it was needed for park maintenance.

The park board still approves the use of Sugar House Park for the event, but no longer has plans to fund the event.

Over the last three years, support to keep the tradition alive has come from a coalition of public and private donors. Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City, local business owners and residents have all chipped in to help support the event.

At times, it seemed like the fireworks show would be cancelled.

“Last year it was up to the last minute because they didn’t have the money,” Morris said.

But the show is scheduled to go on this year. Resident Scott Workman has been fundraising for the event and gathering support for the fireworks display.

During a presentation before the Sugar House Park Authority Board held the second week of June, Workman reported his progress and updated the board on the planned upcoming event.

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