Organizers of a new Fourth of July fireworks show in downtown Lake Geneva have canceled the event because of a lack of funding.
The announcement came May 8 at a meeting of the Lake Geneva Tourism Commission.
A private nonprofit group, Sons of the American Legion, in March announced plans for a fireworks show called “Freedom Over The Lake” to be held July 3 at Flat Iron Park.
It would have been the first Fourth of July fireworks display in many years in downtown Lake Geneva.
Organizers, however, told the tourism commission that they were able to raise only about $9,000 of the estimated $25,000 needed to put on the show.
Dan Jegerski, a member of the Sons of the American Legion, told commissioners that his group would decide later about organizing the show for 2020.
“We need to get back to our members to see if they want to give it another try,” he said.
Although there are other fireworks displays in the region during the Fourth of July holiday, this would have been the only one in downtown Lake Geneva.
The city tourism commission agreed in March to donate about $3,425 to pay for marketing and advertising costs for the event. The commission also offered to contribute funding toward purchasing the fireworks.
Commission members said they would be willing to provide support if the Sons of the American Legion decides to host the event next year.
“If there’s anything we can do next time to help facilitate it, let us know,” Commissioner Brian Waspi said.
Commissioner John Trione advised the legion group to work with other organizations to obtain funding. Trione also advised the group to begin soliciting funds this summer.
“You can start right away this year for next year,” Trione said.
Beau Braden, another legion member, said he feels the group would have raised enough funding for 2019 if it had started to ask for donations earlier.
“Once we got the ball rolling this year, we were a little bit behind the ball to start with,” he said.
Braden said he was disappointed that the group was unable to raise enough funding, but he believes it was a learning experience.
“I think it was new waters for everyone involved in trying to do something new,” he said.
Jegerski voiced appreciation for the tourism commission’s support.
“We just want to thank you for considering this,” he told the commission. “We would like to possibly entertain moving forward with this in 2020.”