POINT PLEASANT — The city of Point Pleasant is considering bringing fireworks back to July 4, as opposed to paying for them to be detonated during the last night of the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta, this year held June 26-28.
Typically, the city spends around $7,000 on fireworks for the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta and the fireworks are known as the big finale to the event. The city cannot afford to buy fireworks for both the regatta and a July 4 celebration, so the money will go to one or the other.
At this week’s city council meeting, Mayor Brian Billings opened up a discussion with council about bringing back the fireworks, and some other activities, to July 4 in Point Pleasant. Billings said he’d heard from constituents who wished to have activities in town during July 4, like in the past. Billings added he’s also heard from people who like the fireworks on the last night of the regatta.
The mayor suggested hearing from the public on the matter before making any decisions, as did council, many of whom expressed hearing similar arguments for both events. Council then agreed to allow Billings to explore how much it would cost to book a few musical acts and offer concessions at Riverfront Park on July 4. It is dependant on funds being available in the city’s budget and how the public feels about the idea.
This year, July 4 falls on a Friday. Gallipolis also typically discharges fireworks the weekend closest to July 4 during its River Recreation Festival, which is set for July 3-5. It’s not known if the French City will actually discharge fireworks on Independence Day or the day after. For many years, Point Pleasant and Gallipolis each set off its own fireworks on July 4 in their respective communities.
Now, the question is, whether to put a new spin on an old tradition in Point Pleasant, or fund the finale for the Regatta — both of which would bring people into downtown Point Pleasant. Whichever way the debate goes now depends on the people to decide when the “bombs (are) bursting in air.”