The city says it will not sponsor the fireworks due to budgetary constraints, the close timing of the Stephenson County Fair, and the inability to form a new group to coordinate the event.

Sometimes, when the money's just not there, you've gotta make the tough call and say "not this time," according to the City of Freeport.

City officials were notified in February that the fireworks committee that raised about $14,000 for the previous year’s fireworks show had disbanded. The former committee members asked city officials to step in and sponsor the show.

Due to budget and time constraints city leaders decided not to fund the show. It would have cost $20,000 to $25,000, City Manager Lowell Crow said.

The only available dates at the Stephenson County Fairgrounds were July 3 and 4. Fireworks companies told the city that in order to have a show on those dates, they would have needed to book the pyrotechnics by September 2017, Crow said.

They also pointed out that there are more pressing concerns:

This year, however, another group will have to step up in order to have a fireworks show. The city has contacted multiple organizations, but no one has expressed an interest in heading up the effort, Miller said.

“We just truly believe we have so many things that can be done with taxpayer dollars, and putting on a fireworks show shouldn’t be a priority with other needs in the community,” Freeport Mayor Jodi Miller said.


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