Milwaukee's 4th of July celebration could go dark

NOW: Milwaukee’s 4th of July celebration could go dark

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - What would a 4th of July celebration be without fireworks?

Milwaukee could find out.

There is still no corporate sponsor for the annual July 3rd fireworks show, and time is running out.

U.S. Bank sponsored the $350,000 show last year, but they announced 2018 would be their last year.

Since then, the Milwaukee County Parks Department has reached out to several businesses.

“At this point, there has been some interest, but no one has stepped to the plate,” said Guy Smith, Director of the Milwaukee County Parks Department.

The clock is ticking on finding sponsorship.

“To makes sure that things can happen, we need to get on it now,” said Smith. “The sense of urgency on the Parks Department end is procurement of everything from garbage trucks to dumpsters to the restroom facilities,” he said.

They want to find a sponsor by April 1st.

Right now, Smith thinks pooling resources together could be the way to go.

“Whether it’s a multitude of sponsors or one major sponsor, however that shakes out we just want to get out in front of it,” said Smith.

The fireworks show draws huge crowds every year, and canceling the show could hurt local businesses.

“People are not going to be in the city, they’re going to want to go to places that are actually celebrating the 4th of July,” said Milwaukee Resident Andrek Dumond.

“I’ve lived in Milwaukee all my life and I always remember it being around,” said Lauren Itzen.

Itzen knows the type of crowds the show brings.

In fact, it got in the way of an important announcement last year.  Her fiancé was going to propose at Veteran’s Park, but plans changed.

“People were camped out so he couldn’t go to the spot he wanted to because there were people with couches set up and a TV set up,” said Itzen.

Her fiancé went through with his plans after a small adjustment.

The Parks Department is hoping for the same luck.

“It does mean a lot to the community, it unifies the community and I think it’s just a wonderful thing,” said Smith.

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