By Doug Petrowski
More than four years after its last official Fourth of July celebration, the City of Mountlake Terrace is looking to revive its family- friendly Independence Day event of entertainment, fun and fireworks for 2013, but only if it can find sponsors to foot the bill.
The City Council heard a proposal from the city’s parks department Wednesday night for plans to pursue $10,000 in donations to pay for fireworks, musical entertainment, staging, logistic equipment and supplies needed to put on a City of Mountlake Terrace Independence Day Celebration in 2013.
The city’s most recent Independence Day events were in 2007 and 2008, but were discounted due to cost; city funds had covered each of those $25,000 events. The proposed 2013 event would receive no city funding besides in-kind costs absorbed by the park, utility and police departments.
“Currently there are no city funds budgeted to support this event,” said Jeff Betz, Recreation Supervisor. “The event would be completely community funded; we would be seeking out sponsors to fund this event.”
“We would go out and actively recruit, see if we can seek some sponsorships, with the goal of receiving approximately $10,000,” said Don Sarcletti, Recreation and Parks Director. Letters to businesses and local groups soliciting funds for the event would most likely to out in January or February, 2013.
Sponsorships would have to be lined up by May 1 in order to guarantee the event’s return, Sarcletti said.
The city envisions an event running from 8-10:30 p.m., with musical entertainment during the first two hours and a 15- to 20- minute fireworks display beginning around 10 p.m.
The lower cost of the 2013 celebration would be achieved with a shorter event with fewer amenities and programming; the 2007 and 2008 events began at 5 p.m. and included inflatable toys, crafts and vendors.
City Manager John Caulfield stressed the need for community involvement to finance the proposed celebration. “Most people realize that local governments, state governments, even the federal government, we can’t be the answer to everything,” he said, adding that he is confident local businesses and individuals will see the value of the event and provide the necessary funding.
“This is a great community event,” said Councilmember Doug McCardle. “It is something that has been missing and it’s worth the time to pursue it.”
“I’d like to say it’s a good thing,” said Mayor Jerry Smith. “I’m glad to see it come.”