Cost Increase Won’t Ground 4th of July Fireworks Show

By Jeremy Coumbes on June 19, 2023 at 11:44am

As inflation continues to hit consumers in the wallet in everything from gasoline to food costs, the city is feeling hit in preparation for next month’s holiday. The Jacksonville City Council approved the new contract for this year’s 4th of July fireworks display last week.

Mayor Andy Ezard updated the council on the contract ahead of the vote, noting there was not only a change in the cost this year but also the company name being written on the check.

It used to be called Central State Fireworks and now they are called J & M Displays. But they hired the same personnel as far as our show out at Nichols Park. It will still be led by local people, Fred Blanford and his team will light the fireworks off.

So even though the company’s name has changed it’s still going to have a local flare, and they always want to put their best foot forward. And we’ve enjoyed having them over the years. They have a good working relationship with the city and the fire department. And they do a good job, they get as much out of the fireworks as we spend.”

Mayor Ezard says the fireworks display will cost the city more money to put on this year, simply due to the rising cost of supplies. “Unfortunately like everything else, the price tag goes up, and we understand it. I think everybody understands it if you stay current with going to the grocery store.

Just prices on everything move up and they had to increase that to fourteen thousand dollars. But I’ve never heard a complaint. I’ve heard nothing but positive remarks regarding our fireworks show, so we’re going to continue that relationship this year and see how it goes again.”

Last year’s show cost the city close to $11,500.00 to put on. Fred Blanford was in attendance at last week’s council meeting and told said by comparison, the company used to pay $16,000 for a container of professional-grade fireworks from overseas, but now that same container costs closer to $40,000 to bring in.

Ezard said the company has also changed the contracted frequency due to the fluctuating costs, switching to a year-to-year contract instead of the three-year contracts the city was used to approving.

The show will go on, however. The City Council unanimously approved the contract. This year’s display will again be visible at Nichols Park with the first rockets taking flight promptly at dusk.