As of yesterday, it wasn’t clear if fireworks would be part of Montclair’s 61st annual Independence Day celebration, but today the on-again, off-again event is “all systems go” for next Monday. At the moment, the page of the town’s web site still indicates that the fireworks are dependent upon the success of fundraising efforts, but officially, unless it rains, there will be festive explosions to light up the July 4th night over the Yogi Berra Stadium and MSU’s campus.
“Some more money came in, and we’ve signed the contract,” said Pat Brechka, director of Recreation and Cultural Affairs for the township. “We’ve been checking the mail box every day, and still have the rest of the week for more to come in, and while we’re still a bit short, we’ve decided that we have enough to make it happen.”
Brechka told Baristanet that her department has raised approximately $32,000 for this year’s celebration. Up until last year, they received $15,000 from the town for the celebration, which also covered the costs of police overtime. Last year, that funding was pulled at the last minute, and the event has been completely funded by donations since. “It hasn’t been easy to come up with the money.” she said. “In the past we got donations from companies but now it’s mostly residents. People in the community have really stepped up. They love the parade and fireworks.”
Donations have ranged from $25 to $1,000. At a recent fundraiser held at Egan & Sons, Brechka found several $100 bills in the donation jar at the end of the event. Even residents from other towns, have sent money, including one man from Pennsylvania who has fond memories of attending the parade and fireworks in the past.
“This has been one big feat to pull off, but the people have come through,” she added.
There’s still time to contribute, and they could use a bit more.
Send donations to:
551 Valley Road — P.O. Box 143
Montclair, NJ 07043
For more information, click here, and don’t forget to wave to the Baristas in the parade.