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Fireworks Cut In Some Towns, But Will Go On In Batavia

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Generic Fireworks (AP Photo/Disney, Matt Stroshane)

Generic Fireworks (AP Photo/Disney, Matt Stroshane)

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BATAVIA, Ill. (CBS) – As the city and suburbs deal with budget troubles, more of them are scrapping planned fireworks shows for the upcoming 4th of July holiday.

But as WBBM Newsradio 780′s Regine Schlesinger reports, some are getting creative to keep the displays going.

Official fireworks shows in the city of Chicago and in suburbs such as Waukegan and Dolton fizzled this year after cash-strapped governments decided not to spend the money on them.

But on July 4 in Batavia, the show will go on. Mark Davis, chairman of the Batavia Fireworks Committee, says his community has never relied on taxpayer money for its show.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Regine Schlesinger reports

Davis says his committee spends all year putting on various fundraisers to come up with the $36,000 dollars for fireworks.

He believes other communities would be better off if they also relied on private donations.

“All the city budgets have been cut; they probably would be able to keep the fireworks if they didn’t have to rely on city money,” Davis said.

With fireworks shows scarcer than they used to be, Davis said he expects a big crowd in Batavia this year.

“You’re more than welcome to come to Batavia to see our show,” he said.

Meanwhile, four western suburbs – Addison, Bensenville, Elmhurst and Wood Dale – are pooling their resources this year to put on a Fourth of July festival that will feature two fireworks shows on the July 3 and 4 in Bensenville’s Redmond Park.

Municipal officials in Waukegan and Dolton announced recently that they were canceling the towns’ fireworks shows to save money. Waukegan plans to go ahead with its July 3 parade and festival, but there are no guarantees they will return next year.

In the city of Chicago, the July 3 fireworks extravaganza at the Taste of Chicago was canceled last year. This came after a series of crime and security concerns – most infamously an incident after the 2008 fireworks show where a man was killed and several others were injured, as patrons flooded into the Loop from Grant Park.

The July 3 fireworks show was replaced with three smaller shows on July 4 – at Navy Pier, at the 63rd Street Beach on the South Side, and at Montrose Beach on the North Side.

Now, the North and South side fireworks shows have also been canceled as a cost-cutting measure, and only the Navy Pier fireworks show remains.

At Navy Pier, fireworks displays are not reserved for the Fourth of July. They occur every Saturday and Wednesday through Sept. 3.

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