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Popular fireworks display canceled

July 04, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

A popular fireworks show near Bolivar that usually attracts tens of thousands of people during the Fourth of July holiday will not be held this year, officials said Thursday.

The fireworks show, which usually is conducted by the National Park Service in a field near Bolivar Heights, had to be canceled this year because of budget constraints, according to Harpers Ferry (W.Va.) National Historical Park spokeswoman Marsha Wassel.

Part of the reason the fireworks could not be held is due to a pay raise for national park employees, Wassel said. Although the raise was passed by Congress, no money was allocated for it, forcing the national park system to pay for the raises, Wassel said.

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Having enough law enforcement personnel on hand for the event also played a role in the decision, Wassel said. If the nation's terror alert had been raised, many of the officers working in the local park system would be transferred to Washington, D.C., to protect landmarks there, Wassel said.

The local fireworks show has been held for at least 10 years, said Bolivar Town Council member Robert M. Stewart Jr.

Stewart said he believes this is the first time the show has been canceled.

The show, which usually is held the Saturday before the Fourth of July, typically attracts between 30,000 and 40,000 people, Stewart said.

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