ELGIN, Ill. (CBS) — After going the past five years without a Fourth of July fireworks show for budget reasons, Elgin is bringing back the Independence Day tradition this summer, with help from the Grand Victoria Casino.
Elgin Mayor David Kaptain said it will mean a good time for all on the Fourth of July, as well as a new direction for the city.
Kaptain said many residents clearly missed the annual Independence Day fireworks show, which the city last hosted in 2008.
“I think Elgin’s a very patriotic community. We have a number of veterans’ organizations within the city of Elgin. We have people that have been participating for a number of years now in the Fourth of July parade,” he said.
The mayor said a partnership with the Grand Victoria Casino helped the city bring back the fireworks, along with a concert at Festival Park. The festival also will include food and beverage vendors booked by Grand Victoria.
Though there will be a $5 entrance fee for the Fourth of July festivities at the park for anyone over age 12, people can watch the fireworks for free from across the Fox River, or along Riverside Drive.
Kaptain said the event is part of what he sees as Elgin’s transition into an arts and entertainment community. The casino is also considering the addition for a live entertainment venue that could host concerts and other events throughout the year.
“We look at the fireworks as being another part of their business plan, and part of the city of Elgin’s business plan as well,” Kaptain said.
He said the casino was very successful last summer in presenting music acts in Elgin, so he thinks the Fourth of July concert and other possible future festivities will be a success.
“They brought anywhere from about 5,000 to 7,000 people, and they feel that this may be part of their future,” he said. “So that kind of ties us together at this point.”
Kaptain said the city will pay $31,000 to provide police and fire protection services for the Independence Day concert and fireworks, while the casino will pick up the rest of the cost.