Watertown city council to weigh paying for, running park concert

Updated: Apr. 16, 2021 at 5:01 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Watertown city council will consider picking up this year’s cost for the annual 4th of July celebration in Thompson Park.

For this year, at least, the city would run the event as well, according to Carl McLaughlin, community events chairman, Watertown Noon Rotary. Rotary has run the concert in years past.

The concert and fireworks show - which is usually held on July 2 or 3 - was canceled last year because of the pandemic. Organizers told 7 News last week it wouldn’t happen again this summer, citing risk and expense.

But Watertown mayor Jeff Smith says lawmakers will consider at Monday’s council meeting whether to use some of the $23 million they got from the federal government in pandemic stimulus money to pay for the show, which would cost more than $30,000.

“Having events like this is going to mean much more this year than even other years. Having the concert, and having fireworks,” Smith said.

“We’re looking forward to doing that and making sure it happens.”

If council members agree to spend the money - they also have to make sure it falls within government guidelines as an allowable expense - they anticipate Thompson Park will be packed on July 1, the tentative date for the concert and fireworks this year.

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