BERLIN – The town will seek sponsorships to cover the cost of this year’s July fireworks display.
Last Monday, the Berlin Town Council approved a sponsorship program for the annual Independence Day fireworks show, which typically takes place July 3.
“We started the fireworks five years ago and now it’s become a tradition here in Berlin,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director. “Families can enjoy them right in their own backyards. After cutting the fireworks funding in the budget, the mayor and council recommended we seek business sponsorships for funding.”
The issue of sponsorships initially came up in a budget work session. While Wells acknowledged that sponsorships helped cover costs, she pointed out they could also add to her department’s expenses if not handled carefully.
When a business sponsors an event, there are added expectations for advertising and promotion from that business. Wells also noted that she didn’t want any one corporate entity to completely take over a particular event.
Officials opted to cut half of the $10,000 usually included in the budget for fireworks.
At last Monday’s regular meeting Mayor Zack Tyndall presented the council with a draft of a potential sponsorship form for the town’s 2022 event.
“This really is designed to help offset a portion of our annual expense for the Independence Day fireworks show,” he said. “We previously used to accept contributions or sponsorships for this. This is an effort to be able to return back to that and offset that expense. It’s open for discussion.”
Councilman Jack Orris said he shared the concerns voiced by Wells during the budget work session but was willing to give the program a try.
“I am willing to try it out for a year and see how it goes,” he said.
As proposed, the town would accept sponsorships of $2,500 (gold), $1,000 (silver), $500 (bronze) or a level of the donor’s choice for the fireworks display. Tyndall said that the maximum donation to be accepted would be $2,500 so that no one business could dominate the sponsorship.
Councilman Jay Knerr suggested changing the sponsorship levels to red, white and blue in honor of the holiday. The council agreed and voted unanimously to approve the Independence Day fireworks sponsorship program.
Wells said those who would like to contribute to the fireworks fund should visit the “Economic and Community Development” tab on the town’s website or email [email protected].