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Ripon aerial Fourth fireworks fizzling out

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POSTED February 15, 2017 12:47 a.m.

The hopes for fireworks in Ripon this year have all but fizzled out.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Ripon City Council decided to leave the fate of the Fourth of July celebration in the hands of the community.
The Ripon Chamber of Commerce Foundation coordinated last year’s event. But Chamber CEO / President Tamra Spade recently notified the City that she and her group no longer have the resources to continue on.
Spade had tried to bring in another organization to help out with the efforts but to no avail.
“I’d hate to see (the community Fourth of July celebration) go away but no one has the manpower,” Mayor Dean Uecker said.
Elected leaders believe that it would probably take several organizations working together to keep the event going.
The City handled Fourth of July fireworks in previous years.
“We don’t have the time to do it,” Vice Mayor Michael Restuccia said.
About a year ago, the City entered into an agreement with the Chamber Foundation.
“That (Memorandum of Understanding pact) transferred the planning and financial responsibility of the fireworks show to the Chamber of Commerce Foundation,” said City Administrator Kevin Werner in his recent letter to the Council.
The City, for its part, continued supporting the event by providing traffic control, waiving the rental fee for the Mistlin Sports Park, providing garbage bins and barricades, and assist in the clean up.
Local businessman and philanthropist Tony Mistlin has given generously every year towards the event.
“I believe it’s the cleaning up that takes much of the man power,” he said. “This problem could clear up if City helps out.”
Fourth of July might be a no go for this year. Council, however, hasn’t ruled out a return for the future.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if someone steps up to plate (to make it happen) next year,” said Councilman Jake Parks.

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