Fireworks Fizzle Around N.J.

The fatalities include the state's oldest display in Ridgefield Park

It may be as American as apple pie, but many communities this July 4th are seeing their traditional fireworks turn into a bitter fruit.
"You can't get any more Norman Rockwellish than Independence Day fireworks," says borough administrator Gregory Franz in Edgewater, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City.
But Norman Rockwell might have second thoughts about coming to Edgewater this Fourth, because the town has cut the $20,000 plus item from its budget.

Sorry Virginia, there are no Fireworks this year.

It's the same in at least a dozen New Jersey communities. Tight times means something has to go, and many communities are picking their fireworks as one of the first places to cut.

"Disappointing," says Korean War Veteran George Meagher. He told he would gladly pay a little more in taxes to keep the annual tradition that honors the founding of this nation he fought for.

Even New Jersey's oldest Fourth of July Fireworks display, in Ridgefield Park, has been canceled. It's first skyshow dates back to 1894.

Edgewater's Granz says he told every department to to cut its budget by ten per cent for the coming year, adding "The decision was made to 'let's do everything we can to help the local taxpayer."

He hopes that a recovering economy will allow his town to resume the fireworks tradition next year.

Another veteran, Kevin Donovan, was more understanding, saying "When I was a kid we had firecrackers and bottle rockets, that was enough."

List of New Jersey Communities Canceling 4th of July Fireworks this year:

Franklin Lakes
Ridgefield Park
River Edge
Fort Lee
Park Ridge
New Milford

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