Kirkland July Fourth fireworks get boost from businesses, possibly city
By MATT PHELPS
Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor
June 6, 2012 · Updated 4:54 PM
Many people were concerned that the annual Fourth of July fireworks display would go silent this year. But a surprise announcement by Fairfax Hospital and a huge contribution by a local car dealer may have saved the event.
The Fourth of July fireworks celebration has seen some big donations this year. The largest comes from Lee Johnson Chevrolet’s with a $12,000 contribution. The car dealer also pledged to match up to $10,000 in contributions to help fund raisers meet their goal.
But the event got one final push during the Kirkland City Council meeting meeting on Tuesday as the Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce Director Bruce Wynn and Kirkland Downtown Association President Vince Isaacson pled with the council for city money to save the event.
“Without your financial support for the fireworks we are not going to have much of a Fourth of July in Kirkland,” Wynn told the council during the public comment portion of the meeting. “I have gone door-to-door to our merchants and our businesses, but we still remain $14,000 short of necessary funds.”
Those pleas were answered, in part, by the council. Mayor Joan McBride said that the city would consider giving $7,000 to the organizers, Celebrate Kirkland. The city’s contribution would still leave the event short.
Later in the meeting, Fairfax Hospital CEO Ron Escarda addressed the council to say that the hospital would be willing to make up the difference if the city approved its contribution.
Overall, the Fourth of July events, which include the city’s annual parade through downtown, cost $61,000 to produce, according to Wynn. The events are funded with corporate and private donations each year. The celebrations have been in danger of being canceled during the past few years due to a lack of funds.
One danger of the celebration being canceled for the KDA is that the organization would lose a $5,000 deposit for the fireworks, said Isaacson.
For information on how to donate, visit www.celebratekirkland.org.
Contact Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor Matt Phelps at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-822-9166 ext. 5052.