By C. Ron Allen
Delray Beach Tribune
DELRAY BEACH -Unless they can raise some bucks in the next two weeks, city officials will not be having any bang for their Fourth of July celebration.
The Downtown Marketing Cooperative, which organizes the Independence Day gala, has 10 days to raise $36,650 to sponsor the fireworks, a tradition that goes back 35 years.
“Because of the massive oil spill clean-up project in the Gulf, the demand for ocean barges has far exceed the supply,” said Jamie Salen, public relations/special events manager for the Downtown Marketing Cooperative. “Because of this, our cost for a barge has increased 250 percent.”
The barge and tow cost $20,000, organizers said. This year, that tab is almost $50,000.
The event began at Lake Ida Park in 1976 and a July Fourth task force – which was comprised of city officials, firefighters, merchants and citizens – in 1987 moved it to the ocean at State Road A1A and East Atlantic Avenue.
While other neighboring cities were forced to cancel their fireworks, Delray Beach officials remain hopeful a solution will be found.
“We are confident Delray Beach Chamber members, local businesses and private citizens will come together to bridge the financial gap,” Salen said.
The city plans to recognize those supporters who support the cause, she said.
For sponsorship information, contact Martin at email@example.com or 561-279-1380, ext 35. To donate, go to http://www.delraybeachchamber.com or contact Salen at Jamie@delraybeach.com or 561-279-1380, ext 17.