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Fair Lawn Considering Multi-Day Fourth of July Festival

With the borough's fireworks display in jeopardy for next year and private donations tough to come by, two council members are looking at alternatives.

It's never too soon to start planning the celebration of your nation's independence; especially if it might save everyone some money.

Fair Lawn Deputy Mayor John Cosgrove and Councilman Kurt Peluso presented a preliminary plan to council Tuesday that re-envisions the borough's Fourth of July celebration as a multi-day, money making event.

Rather than a single night of fireworks, Cosgrove said he'd like to model Fair Lawn's Fourth of July celebration after the three-day Independence Day celebration held annually in Montville Township that includes a multi-day carnival and a fireworks display that's free to residents.

At Montville's Independence Day celebration this year, residents were treated to a three-day carnival with rides, a classic car show, live music, a 5K run, a flea market, a parade, a knockoff American Idol competition, hot air balloon rides and a free fireworks celebration.

Cosgrove said he already has a date set to meet with a representative from Montville to discuss replicating the event.

"I would just like the council's permission to look into this and bring some type of package where possibly we can keep the fireworks going and bring in some revenue," said Cosgrove, adding that Montville has either broken even or occasionally made money from its Independence Day celebration.

By contrast, Fair Lawn -- whose adult residents paid $7 in advance or $9 at the gate to see -- recouped only about $19,000 of the $30,000 the borough spent on the event, which includes employee overtime costs. Private donations, which have paid for a portion of the event in the past, were . 

As a result of the event's pricetag, Deputy Mayor .

With council's go ahead to investigate reworking the borough's Fourth of July celebration, Cosgrove and Peluso hope next year's celebration marks a new and sustainable beginning, rather than the end of Fourth of July fireworks in Fair Lawn.

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Deleted because of harassment September 08, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Freedom of speech is a dangerous thing in the hands of some people, by giving the rest of us ample warning of how screwed up their heads really are. And it's very clear in the comments here about the "dangers" of having an event that might attract the people from "nearby" - and they don't even need to don a white robe. I think an event, maybe not a three-day event, but an event that could have fireworks as the closing, might make money. Hackensack did this for years, with both name performers and games and various events all day long before the fireworks. Based upon the logistics of the town - and I can attest to the bad side of the Labor Day Street Fair in Rutherford, terrible parking - Memorial would be the most likely place for it, since we do not have a particular downtown like Park Ave. in Rutherford. Because the pool is now fenced, there is also a reasonable means of crowd control to allow for some admission events and some open and free events. But all of this disturbs me on another level, that we are now reduced to charging people to celebrate our country, as if it were a theme park. Fireworks should be free to all - and not the kind of thing that some have to avoid because of cost. I've paid for many years, but at some point, you are detering the very people who most need public events to celebrate once a year.
Tommy P September 08, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Freedom of speech is dangerous only the tyrants. No one needs a "public" event to celebrate. Fireworks are never free. With out the ability to speak your mind, you are not free. Celebrations do not require government taking money to coordinate them, people celebrat various things everyday. And yes someone has to PAY for those "free" fireworks. So while I would fight to the death for your right to say stupids things, how about a little respect and keep your hands out of my pockets.
Deleted because of harassment September 08, 2012 at 06:30 AM
And no one needs a public event to celebrate our own history. I guess there are too many fools who use their freedoms for nothing other than an attempt to cling to the notion of public good and public events the way a miser clings to weaslth. On the Planet of the Libertarians, the fine line between community and self-interest is pushed so far to the extreme that the marginally thin veil over social niceties like the freedoms of the people to hve a community in the first place is considered disposable and a threat. They used to consider such beliefs to be part of the lunitic fringe, but as the conservative center shifts, the lunatics seem to think they get to own the asylum and tell everyone else off. Sorry, but your freedom to be a self-centered, paranoid tightwad does not make you right, or even marginally reflective of the rest of society. Wrong is still wrong, no matter how you try to twist it. If the likes of you ever get controil of this country, the only celebrations left, will be the day you leave, and they won't be of pride in the community or the country, but of the relief of the vast majority that they can return to the centuries of what this country stood for beforehand.
Tommy P September 08, 2012 at 02:28 PM
You are forgetting to account for many self forming communities. Things like religious organizations, civic and social clubs exist in Fair Lawn. I can think of at least a dozen. The government should not get in the way of these private groups individually or collectively getting together to celebrate the 4th. Fireworks included. You may want to marginalized or call people who think like us lunatics or fringe, but we aren't the ones advocating plunder the masses for the entertainment of the few. Not wanting to be forced to spend money does not make us tightwads, on the contrary, people like you are the tightwads demanding we all pay for your wants so you don't have to. Slaves are told what to do. Free people choose what to do, which are you?
Christine Souza September 08, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Well, perhaps the citizens of Fair Lawn could vote on the prospect...

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