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Fireworks on 4th at Woodward?
Manteca may move celebration from BLD
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Manteca 4th of July aerial fireworks display last year over the BLD complex. - photo by HIME ROMERO/Bulletin file photo

Manteca’s Independence Day celebration at Big League Dreams sports complex has been a dud of sorts when it comes to attendance to the activities prior to the aerial fireworks display.
Pre-fireworks attendance peaked at 3,901 in 2009 and dwindled to 2,809 last year.
That’s why municipal staff is asking the City Council Tuesday to consider four options for this year’s celebration.
The options are:
Continue both the vendor and entertainment portion along with the aerial fireworks at BLD.
Offer only aerial fireworks at BLD. That would allow BLD to schedule tournaments. This option would save Manteca roughly half of the $33,600 the city spent by only having to pay for fireworks.
Shift the celebration and fireworks to city parks with Woodward Park being the option for this year. It would allow some residents to walk to the event. There also would be significantly more room for vendors plus inspire a family picnic-style setting. Fireworks would be launched similar to the Memorial Day Weekend aerial display. Aerial fireworks would be on a smaller scale but last longer.
uEliminate vendors and other activities and only have an aerial fireworks display at a community park.
In a report to the council, Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation Toni Lundgren believes moving the celebration will increase attendance and could help reduce costs.
Lundgren indicated staff favors moving everything to Woodward Park this year and expand vendors.
Last year the $33,600 cost was reduced by the $7,080 that was the city’s share of fireworks sales from the Manteca Police Officers Association booth and a donation from PG&E. The rest of it came from the city’s recreation fund.
Before BLD opened, the city or Manteca Chamber of Commerce conducted day-time Fourth of July activities at either East Union or Sierra high schools.
Fireworks were launched at one time over the 362-acre Spreckels Sugar site. The one time they were launched over the East Union High stadium it prompted a lawsuit from a goat dairy located north of Lathrop Road that contended the noise startled the milking herd and caused a severe drop in production.
The City Council meets Tuesday, May 3, at 7 p.m., at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email