RED WING, Minn. (WCCO) — This summer, for the first time since the scenic river town of Red Wing started celebrating Independence Day, it won’t have fireworks to mark the holiday.

A committee couldn’t come up with the money necessary to put the show on.

For the first time in years, Alicia Mason won’t be spending July 4 as she usually does.

“I’m kind of shocked,” she said.

One of the fireworks organizers said the disappointment is shared by many.

“I don’t think there’s anyone more disappointed than the people that have been working on this all year long,” Don Kliewer said.

Kliewer is one of six volunteers that makeup Mississippi Alumination, a committee that collects business donations and aluminum to pay for the fireworks. They came up about $3,000 short of the $10,000 needed for the show.

“If we don’t have the funds we can’t do it,” Kliewer said.

To make matters worse this year, several people were caught climbing in and stealing pop cans from collection sites.

“That isn’t going to be the total cause of why we didn’t have fireworks this year, but it doesn’t help the cause,” Kliewer added.

The last blow came down to location. The committee found a different vendor and therefore needed to change the launch point for the fireworks, but it was too close to the marina and all of these boats the city council wouldn’t approve the plan.

Like so many, Mason has no choice but to look ahead to next July.

“It’s going to be pretty shocking for a lot of our town folk,” Mason said.

That is, if the sparks from this year stop flying in time.

“We hope to have a bang up show next year,” Kliewer said.

The city of Red Wing plans to be more involved with the fireworks display moving forward and may even designate money to pay for some of the show.

The closest display on Thursday will be 15 miles to the south of Red Wing in Lake City.

Liz Collin

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