OWENSBORO, Ky. (7/9/13) – Following public backlash over the firework display cancellation last Thursday, Mayor Ron Payne is telling people he thinks it’s time to move on. On Thursday, July 4, weather forecasters around the tri-state were saying that there was an eighty percent chance of rain, and city officials moved quickly around 8 a.m. to cancel all city events for the evening as a result.
It's a decision that has been heavily criticized within the community ever since, but Payne told SurfKY News he stands by the decision to cancel the event.
“It was a good call to make,” said Payne. “I believe that most of us at city hall would make it again.”
Rescheduling the fireworks display may take a bit of doing however, as the contractor hired to put on the show is now booked up until after the end of July.
“It just doesn’t make sense to have the fireworks in August,” said Payne. “That’s the hottest month of the year, and there would really be no point.”
Payne said the city is now entertaining the idea of postponing the fireworks display until the opening of the new convention center and hotel in January 2014, possibly New Year’s Eve.
“When we opened Smothers Park, we had a three-day celebration, and people really enjoyed themselves,” said Payne. “We can do that again. This will be the first convention center ever in the city of Owensboro, and you will be able to see the fireworks from all over Owensboro, including the Riverpark Center.”
Aside from the fireworks, most of the rest of the All-American City celebration has been rescheduled for this week’s Friday After 5, with the exception of the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra’s concert. The contract the Orchestra had with the city reportedly doesn’t obligate it to play in the event of a weather cancellation. However, Payne said the city didn’t lose any money on the deal as the Orchestra doesn’t accept payment without a performance. It’s been suggested elsewhere that the city paid the Owensboro Orchestra a non-refundable fee of $15,000.
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