Start making your Fourth of July fireworks plans now!
News4 learned that the U.S. National Park Service has shaken off some serious budget worries that put the fireworks show in serious doubt. It says it now will spend $250,000 to put on the fireworks extravaganza that draws more than a half million people to the annual birthday party for the nation.
“It’s a signature moment. People love to come,” U.S. Park Service ranger Carol Johnson told News4. “It’s a big event. There is good news. The fireworks … will go on as scheduled.”
News4 exclusively reported earlier this year that the annual fireworks at the Washington Monument were uncertain because of the federal budget sequestration.
The Park Service is doing hiring freezes, delaying maintenance and making other changes to be sure the fireworks take place, Johnson said.
She said visitors to the Mall may notice one change. The Park Service normally prides itself on the instant cleanup of tons of trash left on the Mall by the crowds. Crews normally work through the night to have the Mall in pristine condition. That costs a lot of overtime.
The trash cleanup may take a little longer this year, Johnson said, but the fireworks will go off on schedule.
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Follow Tom Sherwood on Twitter at @tomsherwood