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Suns supporters urge City Council to grant fireworks request

November 23, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

The debate over the frequency and scheduling of Hagerstown Suns fireworks displays continued at Tuesday's Hagerstown City Council meeting.

The Suns are asking the city to approve 14 shows next year, the same as what the team had this year.

After a few City Council members objected last week to aspects of the shows, supporters came out Tuesday to back the team.

Eleven people urged the City Council to grant the request, citing spirit, fun and good business sense.

Holding his young son's hand at the podium, Tom Riford, the president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said cutting the number of fireworks displays could hurt tourism and the jobs that depend on it.

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Last week, council members complained about debris from the fireworks and how late at least one show started.

Suns General Manager Kurt Landes said at the time that the team cleans up all of the debris and has cut the noise from the fireworks by eliminating "salutes," which produce sound but no lights.

On Tuesday, John McCune renewed his previous objections to the fireworks.

He said he and his neighbors don't want to eliminate the shows, but want the city to limit how often they're held and how late they run.

He mentioned the time when a rain delay and extra innings forced a show to start after 11 p.m. He said this isn't fair to senior citizens and people who get up early in the morning for work.

The City Council is scheduled to vote next Tuesday on the Suns' 2006 fireworks request.

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