Red Bank Affirms Kaboom! Suspension
The once-annual fireworks show, still, will not go on.
Those holding out hope that Red Bank was bluffing, or merely waving a false flag in an attempt to dissuade 100,000 or more out-of-towners from descending on the downtown for an annual July 3rd fireworks show in an effort to keep it exclusive and local should know, KaBoom! Fireworks on the Navesink is still canceled.
Though the announcement originally came down in February as talks between fireworks organizers and the borough on how to cover funding deficits had fallen through, some speculated publicly that they thought fireworks would still go on, in at least a diminished capacity if anything, and that the 50-year tradition would continue on without break.
Alas, the borough as stood firm on its position. With visitors likely planning their Fourth of July weekends now, the borough has posted a message on its website affirming the suspension of KaBoom, at least for this year.
From the borough's website:
The traditional July 3rd Fireworks on the Navesink event will not be held in 2012. The Borough apologizes to Red Bank’s many visitors who have enjoyed this long standing tradition. Due to the ever increasing cost of the event, a decision was made by the Governing Body and the Fireworks on the Navesink Committee to suspend this year’s presentation. In due time, we will be able to return this celebration that we have been so proud to host throughout the years.
The reason for the cancellation, er, suspension of the fireworks show came down to money. Organizers said the show, the biggest in New Jersey and one of the largest in the country, attracted more than 100,000 each year. With the cost of the fireworks, insurance, and especially police, rising each year, KaBoom was looking at a price tag of more than $250,000.
It didn't help that the borough was also recieving pressure locally from residents who were tired of the traffic and drunken brawls that have become associated with KaBoom in recent years. But local opinions weren't the only opinions. Criticisms came from outside forces, like Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore, who said he believed Red Bank should cover the cost of additional Middletown police patrols, disregarding the fact that many of Middletown's 66,000 residents also enjoyed the free fireworks show each year.
All of it amounted to too much and just like that an annual tradition was gone, like so many fireworks shot off into the night sky.
Yes, fireworks fans. KaBoom is still canceled.