The spark has gone out for Rumson's Independence Day celebration.
On the heels of the announcment that Red Bank had cancelled its July 3 KaBoom! fireworks, Rumson's Mayor John Ekdahl told Patch that his town would follow suit. By not tying in with Red Bank, Rumson would lose its volume discount on fireworks. And without Red Bank's show, Rumson could gain a volume of crowds seeking out another source of fireworks that the little borough couldn't handle.
Because Rumson bought the same show as Red Bank, Ekdahl said, it enjoyed a discount of up to 15 percent on its fireworks. On a price tag of $50,000 to $60,000, the loss of the discount is a big blow.
But fundraising isn't the primary issue with the Rumson fireworks. The problem, the mayor said, is the potential influx of fireworks viewers left out in the cold by Red Bank.
"The crowd of 15,000 to 18,000 we had was perfect for Rumson," he said. "They fit on the bridge. They fit in the park. In four or five years we've had no incidents. But if we were to pick up 10-15 percent of Red Bank's crowd of 100,000, it would be too much. It would overwhelm us."
The mayor went on to say any additional visitors would present a parking problem. Most residents can walk or bike to spots to watch the fireworks. The visiting crowds of recent years, he said, already took up all the parking in the business area.
"I'm really going to miss it," Ekdahl said. "If [Red Bank] comes back online we could reconsider it. But it won't happen this year."