With RB Decision, Rumson’s Fireworks In Doubt For 2012

February 17, 2012
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By John Burton

RUMSON — Now that Red Bank has announced that it has cancelled the annual fireworks display, Rumson appears to be moving in the same direction.
For several years, Red Bank and Rumson have held simultaneous fireworks displays in celebration of the Fourth of July.
On Tuesday Mayor John Ekdahl said that while no formal decision has been made, in light of the move by the KaBoom committee, which organizes the Red Bank fireworks each year, “it’s highly unlikely at this point that we could stage fireworks without Red Bank.”
Rumson has been holding its own fireworks since 2007, beginning with the borough’s centennial celebration. While smaller, and less expensive, Rumson’s display was basically the same as its neighbor, with both fireworks orchestrated by Garden State Fireworks, Millington.
Ekdahl acknowledged that he had received a heads up from Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna that a decision would be forthcoming on Red Bank’s plans for 2012. As a result, the Rumson Endowment Fund, which is responsible for fundraising for the town fireworks, delayed sending out a mailer seeking contributions for the Rumson fireworks from residents on the Rumson and Middletown sides of the Navesink River.
Rumson’s display attracted about 15,000, people with many of those spectators lining the Oceanic Bridge and gathering in borough parks. “For us that was just about right,” Ekdahl said, noting that the borough had enough available parking for that number, which did not create too great a strain on borough resources and police overtime costs.
Without Red Bank, “We just wouldn’t know what to prepare for,” Ekdahl said.
Rumson’s display costs a little more than $100,000, Ekdahl said back in 2010 when there were discussions about canceling its event. The fund usually has to make a couple of mail requests for contributions and it usually receives some large donations from individual contributors. “There are some $5,000 and $10,000 donors on the river,” he said.
The borough contributes to police and security costs for the event as well, Ekdahl said.
“We’ll meet in another couple of weeks,” to discuss what should be done about this year’s event, he explained. “But I can’t imagine any scenario that we would (decide to) have it.”
“We’re certainly saddened by it,” Ekdahl concluded. “It was a great show. It was great entertainment.”

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