Arnold AFB fireworks display moved to September

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Col. Art Huber Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) Commander provided this statement on moving AEDC's fireworks display from July 4th to September.

"It has come to my attention that many of you are curious as to why we're not having a 4th of July fireworks celebration this year as we have had on many occasions in the past. If you will recall, last year we did not host such fireworks on base either.

That was a conscious decision based on several reasons not the least of which is we believe we have developed a better alternative.

First, budget pressures are a consideration that we have to deal with constantly. In the past, we have relied on community sponsors to pick up much of the tab for the cost of the fireworks themselves and it was proving more difficult each year to get sponsors to commit to covering this expense.

Naturally, there were other costs we had to cover ourselves associated with such things as security, transportation, etc, for a very large crowd. That said, cost is not the only consideration as community relations also play a part in our thought process and actually had a big influence on our current plan.

In this vein, deconflicting what AEDC does with surrounding community events was a driver. When we host a fireworks display on or about the 4th of July, then the likelihood is high we will draw attendance away from a similar event being hosted by at least one surrounding town.

Last year, instead of holding a 4th of July celebration, we held an event in September on the grounds of the Gossick Leadership Center (on Woods Reservoir) to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Air Force.

We brought in a carnival operator (geared towards single-digit age kids) and had an all-day event of free rides with free food and games. Folks were able to attend the carnival as well as spend some time on the GLC beach. We also brought in a jazz/rock band who played from late afternoon into the evening and topped it all off with a fireworks display after dark. Feedback we received was that it was a wonderful family event and attendees definitely wanted us to do it again in the future.

If we achieve our vision, we hope to make this Air Force Anniversary celebration AEDC's annual signature "patriotic" base and community event. I can't promise we will be able to host this event every year (budget issues being what they are), but I think we should be able to do it more often than not.

Thanks for your understanding and keep an eye out for announcements regarding this year's event sometime close to the Air Force's anniversary date in September."