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Council Officially Cancels Fourth of July Fireworks

Instead of an aerial fireworks show, the city plans a patriotic event featuring concerts.

There will be a Fourth of July event in San Ramon this year, but it won't feature any fireworks.

The San Ramon City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday night to approve a new schedule for the Fourth of July in Central Park. It will not include any fireworks, which has been a staple of San Ramon's Fourth of July celebration for more than 25 years.

"You don't want to be part of the council that killed the Fourth of July fireworks," councilman Scott Perkins said. "But public safety must come first."

As it's been the only such show in the area, attendance at San Ramon's event has outgrown the city's resources, council members said.

The new event — called "Celebrate America, Celebrate San Ramon" — will start at 6 p.m. and go until 9 p.m. The city wants a patriotic feel, with the park decorated with flags and streamers. There will be live music by bands possibly including the San Ramon Symphonic Band. The city also wants to be part of the event.

The council also asked a policy committee to look into the sale of "safe and sane" fireworks. Councilman Dave Hudson said he would not approve any Fourth of July program unless the city seriously considers allowing the sale of safe fireworks.

The council came one vote away from not having any Fourth of July event this year.

Councilman Jim Livingstone put forward a motion to put the event on hold for a year, so the city could study the best way to have a safe event in the future. Councilman Phil O'Loane agreed, but the other three councilmembers voted no.

City staff presented an alternative firework plan to allow fireworks that wouldn't go higher than 100 feet in the air. But Mayor Bill Clarkson was the only one in favor of the idea. The other members of the council were concerned it could send a mix message to neighboring communities, which could result in too many people attending the event.

Danny July 03, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Total shame, and sad to see this tradition be squashed by a group of so few. If they were smart, they would organize paid parking and shuttles to deal with the crowds and generate revenues for the city. It is 1/2 day out the year that we need to manage traffic and increase security for what has always been a stellar get together and family event. I am guessing just a way to cut costs, though they won't admit it and blame it on the event become too big. So sad. Happy 4th to everyone anyone. We still celebrate our country's independence even while losing another patriotic tradition. A San Ramon resident for 18 years.
Allison Delima July 04, 2012 at 03:59 AM
yeah... Thanks for bumming my whole Family out for this years 4th.July City Council of San Ramon!!!! Didnt realize we had Oscar the Grouch & his family controlling our city decisions until now. Please Clarify council, is it "God Bless America" or "God Bless Your Boring Hearts"???? rediculous :( - Residents for I think to many years as of now,..
Allison Delima July 04, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Yeah... thanks for bumming my whole Family out for this years 4th.July too City Council of San Ramon!!!! Didnt realize we had Oscar the Grouch & his family controlling our city decisions until now. Please Clarify council, is it "God Bless America" or "God Bless Your Boring Hearts"???? rediculous :( - Residents for I think to many years as of now,..
FSD July 04, 2012 at 08:47 PM
I would have to honestly say that this has created shock waves through our community. There is not a person that I know that is in favor of the elimination of this incredible event that everyone has come from miles around to enjoy!!! What a shame that we have been robbed of a wonderful evening that brought family and friends together year after year. It's like going through an identity crises as a town once again ....no downtown....no fireworks... no ???? Surely there could have been a way to preserve this. Why didn't the Council cast of vote....majority rules... we pay taxes don't we?
kevin December 13, 2012 at 08:38 PM
I see a quandary... We have increased the population of San Ramon almost 1/2 in the past 10 years and have passed planning for another 24,000. If only the residents we have planned for showed up, the crowd would dwarf the present crowd. So are we saying that the population we have planned for makes certain activities unsafe? With enough planning and money communities seem to pull off fireworks with crowds much bigger. I think with proper planning we have an adequate police force and ways to pay for the expenditures. We could have the surrounding parking areas donated so that parking fees could be attributed to the show, instead of a revenue generation for the building owners, we could charge $5 per family to attend, we could solicit moneys from business owners, etc.. Most importantly, we have to examine what we spend as a City and what services we provide. If we promote growth and can't afford to even provide basic services our planning needs re-examination. We should be able to pay our bills, put something in the bank and provide a reasonable amount of community activities, such as fireworks, Black & White ball, summer concerts in the park, etc. We did this in the past with a much smaller population.

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