Milwaukee July 3rd lakefront fireworks canceled; business impacted

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee's July 3rd lakefront firework show cancelation is sparking problems with a nearby business.

On Friday, May 24, leaders with Milwaukee County Parks announced this year's show is shut down. Park leaders say a lack of sponsors snuffed out this year's firework show. They also imply it could be long-term.

"At this point, we believe that the 3rd of July fireworks have run their course," Milwaukee County Parks Executive Director Guy Smith said.

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The firework show has been a summer staple and a memory maker for decades. It's also the county's War Memorial Center's biggest fundraiser of the year.

"It’s always been just an event to look forward to and celebrate our nation," President and CEO of the War Memorial Center Daniel Buttery said. "Families would be there with their kids, all generations."

With Friday's unexpected cancelation announcement of the fireworks show, the War Memorial Center’s summer moneymaker is also off.

"It’s going to impact us by about $50,000," said Buttery. "It’s going to hurt financially as a nonprofit."

He said the fundraiser brings revenue from ticket sales, parking and the beer garden.

Now they're going to have to make up for the loss in revenue and an eventual replacement for the event.

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Park leaders say the fireworks show was canceled because of a lack of sponsors and funding. The fireworks cost about $350,000 and another $20,000 for labor.

But one of the biggest talking points about the cancelation announcement was the timing.

"It became clear as we got into late winter, early spring that we weren’t making any progress," Smith said.

He said they were made aware of the decision on the Friday of the announcement.