Group hopes to save Fourth of July fireworks in St. Paul

Fireworks were canceled in 2018 due to budget issues

Mark Freie
June 19, 2019 - 11:02 am
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Remember when this year's Grand Old Day in St. Paul was canceled, and then a Facebook group raised nearly $200,000 so the 46th edition of the celebration could take place on June 2?

Well, the group behind that effort, Grand Old Day Anyway, is at it again and this time they aim to save a patriotic celebration.

In 2018, city officials in St. Paul canceled the Fourth of July fireworks due to budget concerns.

With no plans to bring the fireworks back, Andy Rodriguez and Ashley Lemay, who teamed up earlier this year to form Grand Old Day Anyway, were approached about raising money to bring back the fireworks this years.

"We threw our hats in the ring to try and make it happen," Rodriguez said. "We're recruting sponsors and private funds to bring back the Fourth of July event."

A GoFundMe campaign aims to raise $125,000 in a short amount time.

"Ideally we'd like to have a solid foundation by June 21," he said. "There is some flexibility and we could go early into next week, but there are a lot of expenses to consider."

Despite a short amount of time, there have been ongoing disussions with sponsors. "A lot of businesses already have their budgets set, so that makes it a little difficult to find the money."

If they are unable to get the money by the set deadline, Grand Old Day Anyway says they'll have a solid foundation for Fourth of July event in 2020.

"These traditions are important to St. Paul," Rodriguez said. "They build community, revitalize the city, and promote local business. Whether they're 46-year-old traditions or fireworks, we want to help build community."

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