It's an Independence Day tradition that's had a precarious place in the community for the last few years. And for 2012, the Ithaca fireworks show has no home. But as Tamara Lindstrom tells us, the mayor is looking for a little help from the audience to bring the fireworks back.
ITHACA, N.Y. -- "It's one sky. All the fireworks are up there in the sky and they're yours and they're everyone’s," said Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick. "And everyone together is looking at the same thing. And really, it's a celebration as something as basic as our country."
But after 64 straight years, it's a celebration that has no place to go. It's been hosted by Cornell, Ithaca College and TC3, but this year, the Ithaca community fireworks display is without a venue.
"It's not easy to handle for these colleges," Myrick said. "They've got to worry about liability, they've got to worry about parking. They've got to worry about keeping everyone safe."
But the mayor is hoping a grassroots effort will help bring the annual Fourth of July event back to Ithaca and open to everyone.
"We'd like to make it free and available for everyone who wants to show up. So we're trying to raise money to pay for a stage and maybe one or two bands to play, trying to raise money for the fireworks themselves. And also money to pay for the extra police and fire overtime that it will cost the city to staff it."
The event will cost about $20,000 to put on. An expense Myrick doesn't think the taxpayers should have to pay. So he's taken his campaign online, hoping to get donations to cover the cost.
"It's going to be at the golf course, right on the water. So you could see it from Cass Park, you could see it from Stewart Park. You could park at the high school, you could park at the Farmer's Market. You could see it from your boat, or anywhere along the lake. And we're hoping if we can raise enough money, we can get big enough fireworks and send them up high enough, that you will be able see them from East Hill and West Hill and South Hill and maybe even parts of the flats."
Myrick said after about a week of fundraising, community members have donated nearly half the cost, including a contribution from the family of Corporal Christopher Bordoni, an Ithaca native who died serving in the Marines earlier this year.
"They said that fireworks were always Chris' favorite. It was his favorite holiday ever since he was a little kid, that he just loved the fireworks."
A tradition they hope to bring back home.
If enough money if raised, the fireworks show will take place on July 2nd. If you'd like to make a donation, visit www.ci.ithaca.ny.us.