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Independence celebration, parade, aerial fireworks set again on July 3
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Manteca is again avoiding paying triple overtime to police officers as well as shaving thousands off the cost of the aerial fireworks by shifting the community’s Independence Day celebration to July 3.

This time the parade as well as the pancake breakfast will take place on July 3 as well. It is as much about avoiding confusion as it is keeping with a longstanding tradition by parade organizers to shift the parade when the Fourth of July falls on a Sunday since at least half - if not more - of parade participants are active church members.

The shift will save city - which is facing a $3.8 million general fund deficit in the fiscal year starting July 1 - some $17,400. It also means the city won’t incur any debt for staging the community celebration at the Big League Dreams sports complex as well as the aerial fireworks. Part of the cost, by chance, is picked up through efforts of the Manteca Police Officers Association that man the city’s fireworks booth at Union Road and Yosemite Avenue and splits the proceeds between the city’s Fourth of July account and the association.

The MPOA uses their share of the proceeds for a wide range of community endeavors from helping provide a Christmas for needy children to supporting various youth groups.

Sworn police officers receive triple overtime for three holidays - Fourth of July, Christmas, and Thanksgiving - they negotiated years ago in contract talks with the city. The events require extra police staffing and subsequently avoids $11,405 in OT costs.

The city also is paying premium prices to have the fireworks shot off since most communities do it on the Fourth of July meaning there is a surplus of licensed technicians to do the job.

The money savings has allowed Manteca to keep the aerial fireworks display during austere budget times while many other Central Valley cities have dropped them due to lack of funding. The cost savings last year ended up just being a little bit more than what the city used in past year to subsidize the celebration from bonus bucks paid for sewer allocation certainty.

The city this year used $6 million in bonus bucks to balance the budget.

A number of people criticized the city’s decision last year to shift the Independence Day date. Manteca had to trim $11.8 million from the current budget to keep the city from going into deficit spending. They did that through most employees agreeing to take pay cuts via furloughs and forgoing negotiated raises that cost an average worker close to 11 percent, not filling positions and shifting duties to remaining employees, encouraging early retirement via incentives, reorganizing operations, and spending down reserves.

Family-style event at BLD complex
The City of Manteca in partnership with Big League Dreams is hosting the annual Independence Day Celebration on Saturday, July 3, at the BLD sports complex. This family-style event is expected to draw between 8,000 and 12,000 people based on attendance in previous years.

The event goes from 4 to 10:30 p.m. It will feature live entertainment showcasing community talent, children’s activities, softball games, a homerun derby, as well as food and fun.  The event culminates with a spectacular fireworks show over the ball park.

Vendor space is limited and will be offered on a first come, first serve basis and will be approved by the City of Manteca and Big League Dreams Sports Park.  A fee of $100 is required to reserve a vendor booth.  Vendors are not guaranteed exclusive rights for selling any individual items, but the committee will try and limit duplication of certain items.

 Vendors will be allowed to sell items, display an informational booth, or host an activity.  All items for sale are subject to approval by the Fourth of July committee. Big League Dreams has the rights to sell most food items, however some additional items will be permitted.  For more information call Brandy Kendrick-Clark at (209) 456-8623.