SUGAR HOUSE — Every Independence Day, the traditional Sugar House fireworks display is one of the biggest parties in the state. But the show is once again in danger of fizzling out.
Five years ago, Salt Lake City canceled the show because the budget was too tight. So, local businessman Scott Workman led the fundraising charge each of the last four years to save the fireworks.
However, the show may not go on this year because there is a $25,000 shortfall in fundraising for the $70,000 show.
“(Cancellation) would be terrible,” said Seth Robledo, a Salt Lake City resident. “I think it’s a great community event. I think it gets everyone out here, everyone together.”
Workman has pulled together private sponsorships, along with $15,000 from the city to save the show each year.
“To me, it’s much more than a holiday; it’s a celebration of our country,” Workman said.
But this year two major sponsors pulled out, he said, and a third cut its contribution in half.
I'm kind of exhausted. I try every year to save it, and it seems that at the last minute something comes through and we are able to save it. There has to be a better way of doing it.
–Scott Workman, show organizer
“I’m kind of exhausted. I try every year to save it, and it seems that at the last minute something comes through and we are able to save it,” Workman said. “There has to be a better way of doing it."
Workman sent a letter to Salt Lake City Council members Monday as his last appeal for $25,000 from the city.
"If they can save (the fireworks show), then we're great; it is saved," he said. "But if not, we will have to cancel it."
Canceling the show is something few in the community want.
“If this one guy has rallied so that the community can gather every year, maybe it’s time for the get together and keep this thing going,” Robledo said.
Workman needs a commitment from the city by Friday to give proper notice to the other sponsors.
No city council members were available Monday evening for comment.