FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- Residents on Fort Myers Beach fear the annual Fourth of July fireworks show may be fizzling out for good.
“Everybody’s been so busy and so much under stress with the traffic and the construction and water,” said Fort Myers Beach Mayor Anita Cereceda, “I think no one has had the time to focus on this properly.”
There have been no donations from the community to pay for the show, town leaders said. Now business owners fear one of the biggest money making days of the year will be cancelled. In 2014, Fort Myers Beach decided they would no longer solely pay for the fireworks.
“We’re more focusing on survival and we haven’t been looking ahead to the Fourth of July,” said Dave Anderson, chair of the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce.
The town says a contract for the Fourth of July fireworks needs to be signed by April 1.
“I plan to ask the council to extend the deadline just a bit to see if our business community can raise the additional funds necessary to do the fireworks,” Cereceda said.
“One of the biggest days of the summer might be taken away from us, so we are hoping council might think again,” Anderson said.
The possibility the Fort Myers Beach Town Council will decide not to help pay for any future fireworks shows, including on New Year’s Eve, is also on the table.
“The town has to make some hard decisions this year about what our priorities are,” Cereceda said.
A group of businesses on the island say they may help raise money for this year’s Fourth of July. If so, the mayor says she believes the town will share the cost of the fireworks so the show may go on.