Thousands of people filled Meriden’s Hubbard Park for the city’s Independence Day celebration on Monday, But the fireworks show’s fate was uncertain until a couple of weeks ago.
“Some would say this is the show that almost didn’t happen. I never saw that it was going away,” Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati said.
There was a contentious debate about the city spending thousands of dollars on the event during tough budget times.
At first there was no money put aside for it.
“We were kind of upset to hear they’d be cancelled this year,” Elizabeth Daloia, of Meriden, said.
Then a couple weeks ago, the city decided to pull $10,000 from a special events fund.
When that was added to about $7,000 in private donations, city staff raced to pull off the show.
“This is a great thing. We are not only celebrating our nation and our country but this is something all of our residents can enjoy,” Scarpati said.
The mayor said the city hopes to avoid this last-minute rush in future years by either putting money specifically in the budget or establishing a task force or committee to come up with the money.