Freeholders to Finance July 4 Fireworks, Not Family Festival


BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders has decided it will finance the county's annual Independence Day fireworks at North Branch Park, on Milltown Road, because the county park commission could not finance it in its 2015 budget.

Unfortunately, that financing will not extend to the annual Family Festival itself.

According to a release from the county, freeholder director Mark Caliguire said the expenditure is one-time only, and the park commission is encouraged to find corporate sponsorships and other funding for future years.

Sign Up for E-News

"For this year only, the freeholders will step in and fund the fireworks that thousands of county residents enjoy," he said in the release. "This is an event celebrating our nation and our freedoms, so the freeholder board is going to find a way to subsidize it this year."

Every year, the release said, the freeholder board makes an appropriation in its budget to the park commission, but that doesn't include items like the fireworks, which are funded by the commission.

According to the release, changes in golf participation nationwide caused a drop in the commission's golf revenues, leaving its operating budget short. This had an effect on the fireworks for this year.

"Over the last two years, the county has increased the parks budget appropriation 17 percent to make up for any shortfalls," Caliguire said in the release. "And the freeholder board will support the park commission in its efforts to transition to an operating budget with lower golf revenues. But that process must take place."

A contract will be issued to Schaefer Pyrotechnics Inc., of Pennsylvania, for $19,000 for the fireworks. The contract does not include any other entertainment, namely the annual Family Festival that accompanies the fireworks at North Branch Park.

According to Ray Brown, director of the park commission, in a release, the Family Festival was not included the commission's proposed operating budget.

"We respect the importance of the July 4th festival, yet we also have a responsibility to provide a diverse menu of other programming for the millions of park patrons who visit our 15,000 acres of active and passive parkland throughout the remainder of the year," he said in the release.

The park commission, the release said, is working out the details of the event, and is planning to open North Branch Park at 6 p.m., with the fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.

"We are continuing to work out the details with the fireworks provider, and will inform the public as soon as all arrangements are completed," he said in the release.

There are expected to be traffic issues at North Branch Park for the fireworks on Milltown Road, Route 202 and Route 22. Park commission rangers and staff will be able to direct visitors to on-site parking areas.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events

Fri, May 25

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Les Photos de Bernie at the Wayrick ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, May 26

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Les Photos de Bernie at the Wayrick ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sun, May 27

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Les Photos de Bernie at the Wayrick ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Bridgewater Police Investigating Theft of Children's Miracle Network Donation Bin, According to Report

May 25, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater Township Police are investigating a report of a theft of a Children's Miracle Network donation bin from convenience store on Route 22 May 21, according to a report.

According to the report, a Speedway employee reported that someone stole the bin from the counter inside the store. The collection bin, the report said, contained an unknown amount of ...

Jacobus Vanderveer House Designated A Blue Star Museum

May 20, 2018

BEDMINSTER, NJ - Bedminster’s historic Jacbous Vanderveer House & Museum has been designated a Blue Star Museum, one of more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  The Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum is one of 24 Blue Star Museums in New ...

Somerville Suspect Charged with Armed Robbery of Gaston Avenue Store

May 25, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – A 22-year-old borough resident has been charged with armed robbery at a convenience store on Gaston Avenue, accoeding to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson..

Jake Sommers, 22, of Eastern Avenue is lodged in the Somerset County Jail and faces charges of first degree robbery and third degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Robertson provided ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...

To Borrow or Not to Borrow?

If you are like me, you have debt. Whether it’s your mortgage, student loans, or credit cards – or all of the above – most people carry debt. It helps us pay off important but high cost expenses over time and makes them affordable and it helps us through difficult times when perhaps our cash flow isn’t what we need it to be. However, sometimes it just feels ...

The (Wrong) Advice Your Doctor Gave You

It's all too often that a patient comes to my clinic afraid to squat because their Doctor had told them "it's bad for your knees."

Patients seem confused when I smile back and ask, "How did you just sit down and stand up out of that chair if you aren't able to squat?"

You see, advice like this is handed out all too often, and I'm on a mission to have ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...