That is right, Mayor Grinch, it is you and your council of Gnomes that has decided, without talking to your citizens or business community, to cancel the Fourth of July fireworks celebration. How wise of you to say “one event doesn’t define the City of Long Beach for a whole year.” Mr. Grinch, that one event has defined our country for over 200 years. That is no small matter! The celebration of the birth of our country is no matter to dismiss so casually. The sacrifices that our ancestors made while fighting and winning against a British force, 10 times stronger than our own, define our country.
Much on the negative side has been said about the Fourth of July celebration and what it leaves behind. The trash, the multitude of people, unwanted fireworks on days other than the fourth, scared pets and a list of others. But no one talks about the reasons to keep our celebration. Who among doesn’t remember the great times with our children, grandchildren and for some of us our great grandchildren watching the fireworks. What can replace the bright shining looks on their faces, the happiness they share and the memories they are making. The family picnics, the great times on the beach, the anticipation of that all happening are worth so much to all of us. Don’t forget the mothers and fathers that have an opportunity to educate their kids on why we have such a great place to live and what the Fourth is really about. Really, you want us to celebrate the fourth with a laser light show? Thanks, Mr. Grinch, but count me out!
You say that the city won’t fund the fireworks but if the Long Beach Merchants raise the money it’s OK. Have you forgotten, Mayor Grinch, that you send out a letter each year asking for donations to all the merchants? Many of us send you checks. In the past, if the donations have not been adequate, some mayors have actually gone back door to door to the merchants asking again. That does require actually going into business and talking with owners (not a new concept, well for some Gnomes on the council it would be). The budget for fireworks has always been $20,000 to $25,000. That pays for the fireworks on the Fourth, the fireworks on New Year’s Eve, and for the Senior Prom. Are you cancelling those to, Mayor Grinch? How about using some of the $392,000 you say that you collect from our business community in our B&O tax to pay for the fireworks. I’m sure we would all agree on that. This is not about the dollars. It is about you and your council trying to appease a group of people that complain. If you wash your hands of this then you don’t have to accept any criticism. It’s time to man up like your ancestors did.
It’s amazing to me that so many of us moved to this community because we loved everything about it. We brought our families here to celebrate events and enjoy everything there was to offer. But once settled in and living here some people don’t want to enjoy the fact that other people are doing the same things that we did before we moved here. There is no better time of the year than now to count our blessings, love our neighbors and visitors and enjoy what our forefathers have fought and died for. But for you, Mayor Grinch, and your council of Gnomes, I sincerely hope Santa leaves you all a stocking full of coal!!!