Fourth of July celebrations making comeback after years of budget cuts

6:19 PM, Jul 4, 2013   |    comments
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MAPLEWOOD, Minn - Fourth of July celebrations are making a comeback in the Twin Cities communities of Eden Prairie and Maplewood.

During the recession, budget cuts fizzled fireworks displays in many cities. The city of Maplewood brought its "Light It Up Maplewood" fireworks show back for the second year in a row, after budget woes silenced the show for several years.

This year, Maplewood was able to provide a bigger fireworks show than ever before with the help of a business sponsor, The Dog House Bar and Grill in Maplewood. The City of Maplewood's Director of Citizen Services, Karen Guilfoile, said the citizens of Maplewood want their red, white and blue.

"We ceased doing fireworks about five years ago due to budget constraints. And the citizens really petitioned the mayor and city council to bring fireworks back," said Guilfoile.

Eden Prairie is also restoring its celebration after budget cuts, bringing back the kids parade for the first year. The city also added 5,000 dollars to its fireworks display.

"After budget cuts happened a couple years ago, we found people really appreciated what we were doing here at the Fourth of July, and it's really a community celebration and pride," said Jay Lotthammer of the Eden Prairie Parks and Recreation Department. "It brings people back to hometown, not have to drive anywhere."

Eden Prairie also added a skate park, BMX races, and a splash pad. After a budget crunch, hometown pride is back on display.

"A grand finale like we have never seen here before - you have to be here to witness it," said Lotthammer.

Fireworks begin in Eden Prairie and Maplewood after dark.

"Tradition with a big bang," said Guilfoile.

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