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City has spark of hope for Fourth of July

OBSERVER file photo Fourth of July fireworks normally bring more than 10,000 to downtown Dunkirk.

Maybe the Fourth in Dunkirk will be a blast.

In a resolution that will come before Common Council on Tuesday, the city is proposing paying Starfire Corp. $30,000 for the fireworks show for July 4 with a rain date of July 5. Mayor Wilfred Rosas said the resolution is to begin preparation for the Fourth of July celebration on top of any other events the city might be able to plan should New York state lift some of the restrictions put in place by COVID-19.

“We need it to get through because planning means we need the contract with the fireworks vendors,” Rosas said. “We need that contract or we’ll lose them and have to do it with someone else. We’re preparing the fireworks and hoping they’ll lift the restrictions. If they do, we’ll be in position to host the Fourth of July, and if they don’t, then we have language in the contract that will not penalize the city if restrictions are not lifted.”

Last year, due to COVID-19, the city did not have its annual Fourth of July festival or fireworks. As vaccinations continue to increase — and limits on gathering become less restrictive — the city appears to be making plans for some summer events, which would include the return of Music on the Pier. Should restrictions be lifted and the environment be safe, Rosas anticipates large crowds at whatever events the City of Dunkirk holds.

“We’re hoping that Music on the Pier can return again, but that’s contingent on CDC and New York state guidelines,” Rosas said. “We expect that if we are allowed to have events like that, we anticipate that the crowds will be larger than normal because of people being held inside due to the pandemic.”

In the past, the Fourth of July city festival has been the most popular and largest attended event of the year, and with the amount of planning that goes into the events, Rosas wants to make sure the city is ready should they be given the clearance.

“We do want to put all measures in place as if we are going to have them,” Rosas said. “There is a lot of planning involved and currently we don’t have any contracts with any of the vendors, bands, or anything else signed because we don’t know if the restrictions will be lifted. We have made contact with the vendors to let them know we are interested.”

As for Memorial Day, services will be held at Memorial Park by the Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council at 10 a.m. However, there will not be a parade on Central Avenue.

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