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New Team Saves Seattle's July 4th Celebration

Flickr Photo/luisar

Seattle’s July 4th fireworks are scheduled to go ahead after all. City leaders announced yesterday they’ve secured enough corporate sponsors to stage the event on Lake Union this summer.

Microsoft, Amazon and a local casino gaming company called Double Down Interactive have signed on as the event's main sponsors.

“This sponsorship team has committed to provide support for several years and to end the springtime ritual of guessing whether there will be a fireworks show or not," said Maud Daudon, president of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

Last month, One Reel, the company that used to produce the show, announced it was cancelling it for lack of funding. The event had been struggling ever since its previous corporate sponsor, Washington Mutual, went bust.

New sponsors were slow to fill the void after the bank's funding disappeared.

“When you have a fairly expensive event to produce and you’ve had one major sponsor who funded the whole thing, and to have that completely go away, it’s very hard to go to companies and carve out that kind of budget," said Jane Broom, director of community affairs at Microsoft, one of the event's sponsors.

Seafair, which stages an eight week long summer festival, is the show's new producer.

Western Display Fireworks, based in Oregon, will provide the pyrotechnics.

According to Seafair president Beth Knox, the show may look a little different from previous years. The new company promises a more traditional July 4th fireworks display.

"In the past, it has been primarily artistic and now you will have a combination of artistic and patriotic," Knox said.

In an effort to cut costs, the city of Seattle has waived its permit fees for the event.

Instead of launching fireworks from a barge in the center of Lake Union, the barge will be docked along the shore, which will cost less money, according to Knox.

Knox declined to comment on how much this year's event would likely cost. She did say that event organizers are continuing to solicit donations for this year and for future years.

Year started with KUOW: 2005