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July Fourth fireworks funded for this summer in Santa Barbara

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John Palminteri
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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - After calling off one of the biggest shows on the Central Coast in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 July Fourth fireworks will be back this year in Santa Barbara.

The Santa Barbara Waterfront department contract was approved by the City Council with a proposal for $60,500.

Garden State Fireworks, Inc. fired off the shows between 2015 to 2019.

The contract beyond this year's shows includes four one-year options to extend at the City’s discretion.

A city report for the costs of the optional extensions are the following:

  • 2022: July Fourth: $57,750.00 (Reflects 5% Increase)
  • Parade of Lights 2022: $5,775.00 (Reflects 5% Increase)
  • 2023: July Fourth: $57,750.00
  • Parade of Lights 2023: $5,775.00
  • 2024: July Fourth: $60,637.50 (Reflects Additional 5%)
  • Parade of Lights 2024: $6063.75 (Reflects Additional 5%)
  • 2025: July Fourth: $60,637.50
  • Parade of Lights 2025: $6,063.75

The Santa Barbara City Council briefly discussed the item from the consent calendar where there is generally a straight vote.

Councilmember Oscar Gutierrez made the request and wanted to know what other additional staff costs would be incurred.

That includes extra police, fire, public works and parks department workers.

City Administrator Paul Casey said the staff costs will be covered as it usually takes place during a normal year. A specific figure of overtime hours, if any, was not given.

A planning session will be held next week with several department representatives.

It will likely include an extensive media outreach to inform the public of the protocols to have a safe fireworks event. It is possible there could be changes in state and county guidelines after the California reopening on June 15. Santa Barbara has been known for one of the largest settings for the Fourth of July fireworks with food vendors on Cabrillo Boulevard and a stage show of family friendly entertainment on West Beach with a patriotic lead up to the main event, a 20-minute fireworks show.

The city says this year, only fireworks will be part of the plan.

There are early discussions about streaming the show for those who are not close to the waterfront.

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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