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Lack of funding could fizzle Atwater's Fourth of July celebration

ATWATER — The Fourth of July celebration here may go off without a bang this year.Short on volunteers and cash, event committee Chairman Greg McDaniel said the fireworks that burst in air amid “oohs” and “awws” at the end of the day may be done with.

Worse, the 12-person committee that organizes the day’s events is short five members because aging members have stopped volunteering.

“The old guard is gone and the new guard needs to step in,” he said.

The parade, which draws about 35,000 people to Atwater every year and costs about $22,000 to hold, has been a landmark celebration for the last 40 years to honor the United States’ independence.

However, it exists only through volunteer work and business donations, which have declined on average from $5,000 to $1,000, McDaniel said.

Yet the cost of security and fireworks has gradually increased.

To drum up more money, the committee will be selling advertising banners that will be hung around the city on July 4. Large ones will cost $500 and the cost of smaller ones will be negotiable, he said.

Care to volunteer or donate? Call Fourth of July Committee Chairman Greg McDaniel at 209 358-2260.