FMB fireworks shows future is up in the air

Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- Popular firework shows are in jeopardy of being cancelled. Fort Myers Beach says in the new year, it will not use your taxpayer dollars to pay for the fireworks display, but that doesn’t mean the show won’t go on.

“I was needless to say, infuriated,” said Andrea Carriere, Owner of Silver Sands Beach Resort.

“It’s a tradition and we need to keep it going,” said Eric Beck, Manager at the Beached Whale.

There is outrage from residents after learning the fate of future firework shows is up in the air.

“We donate everyday in our tax dollars, bed tax dollars, parking fees, we pretty much contribute quite a bit,” said Carriere.

For years, the town has used $120,000 of taxpayer money to pay for the fireworks on New Year’s and the Fourth of July, but, that will soon stop.

“They are not going to budget the money for the fireworks this year, and I’m okay with that, if we can find sponsorship,” said Vice Mayor Dan Andre.

The town is looking for a corporate sponsor or at possibly charging you as a way to pay for the shows. There’s even a sponsorship program in place.

“I will donate towards it, otherwise you’re going to spend some money somewhere,” said visitor Carolyn Hensley.

“We have been and we will continue to,” said Beck.

Previously all holiday parking was free, but the town says on a day like Fourth of July, parking can bring in more than $9,000 and now they will charge.

“Maybe that’s your piece of the pie you put into the pot to pay for them,” said Andre.

And if no one steps up to pay for the shows, it would be a huge let down for businesses.

“It’s the only attraction, they are not going to come down here for the Fourth of July if there is no fireworks.”

The fireworks show for this New Year’s will go on as planned. When it comes to funding future shows, one beach group has already donated $2,500.

To donate, you can call Randy Norton at Parks and Recreation at 465-4222.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.