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Big Seattle 4th of July fireworks show on again

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Seattle’s July Fourth Fireworks show won’t be going dark this year after all. Just a few weeks ago the summer display was scuttled for lack of funding. But now the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce says local companies are stepping up to revive the show, and put it on solid footing for the near future.

Chamber leaders say most of the donors have promised to keep the money coming for three years or more, ending what Chamber president Maud Daudon called “the springtime ritual of guessing whether there will be a fireworks show or not.”

The event will have a new producer, with Seafair will take over from One Reel. Mayor Mike McGinn says the changes add up to a more financially sustainable model.

“Seafair is the type of organization that year after year recruits volunteers, puts on events, raises money. “ McGinn says. “And then rather than relying on a single sponsor, with the Chamber stepping up to rally the entire business community, so the load is share, that’s where the word sustainability comes from.”

Lead sponsors include Microsoft, and online gaming company Double Down Interactive. Officials wouldn’t say how much the show would cost, except that it would be less than the $500,000 One Reel had been trying to raise. Savings will come from using a new pyrotechnics company, from fee waivers from the city and from unspecified “partnerships.”

Seafair says the show will last about 20 minutes, and will launch from a barge on Lake Union near Gasworks Park.

Mayor McGinn says the city plans to increase security at the fireworks show, as well as at other summer festivals and next week’s May Day events, in light of the Boston bombings.

Gabriel Spitzer is the Host and Senior Producer of Sound Effect, KNKX's "weekly tour of ideas inspired by the place we live." Gabriel was previously KNKX's Science and Health Reporter. He joined KNKX after years covering science, health and the environment at WBEZ in Chicago. There, he created the award-winning mini-show, Clever Apes. Having also lived in Alaska and California, Gabriel feels he’s been closing in on Seattle for some time, and has finally landed on the bullseye.
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