Bainbridge’s LTAC committee says no city money should go to restarting Fourth of July fireworks show

It’s looking like the city of Bainbridge Island won’t help revive the popular fireworks show over Eagle Harbor that has long capped the island’s Fourth of July festivities.

This year’s fireworks show — the explosive, aerial exclamation point at the end of the city’s Independence Day holiday — was canceled for lack of sponsors and funding.

So in stepped the Bainbridge Island Lodging Association, which sought a grant from the city’s Civic Improvement Fund to pay for a revamped show.

Organizers said the show would include not only traditional fireworks, but a drone display over Eagle Harbor near Pritchard Park.

The committee in charge of making recommendations on how to spend $275,000 in grant money to promote tourism on the island in 2020, however, has decided to not devote any lodging tax funding for the fireworks show.

The city received 15 grant requests for lodging tax funding, and the Bainbridge Island Lodging Association asked for $45,000 from the city. Organizers said they would privately fundraise to cover the rest of the costs of the show, which has been estimated to total $69,000.

The recommendations for funding made by the city’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee will be reviewed by the council at its meeting this week.

If the recommendations get a thumbs-up, a final vote is planned for Nov. 26.

Organizers of the relaunched fireworks show — a partnership between the Bainbridge Island Lodging Association and the all-volunteer 4th of July Fireworks/Drone Committee — said their proposed patriotic display would include traditional fireworks, but also an aerial drone display that would include a fleet of 50 to 60 drones. The computer-choreographed drone show would be set to “a storyline of patriotic and regional images … reinforced and enhanced by a prerecorded and synchronized narrative and musical soundtrack.”

Supporters said the relaunch of the fireworks show would encourage visitors to extend their stays on Bainbridge at the end of the Independence Day holiday, and they noted that this year’s cancellation of the fireworks display caused many hotel room cancellations on the night of July 4.

The fireworks proposal was the only one of 14 grant requests that did not receive any proposed financial support from the city’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.

The committee has recommended that the other groups receive partial funding of their grant requests, including:

Arts & Humanities Bainbridge (Currents Online Cultural Collaborations, requested $14,000, suggested grant award, $10,000, or 71.4 percent of requested grant);

Bainbridge Arts & Crafts (Off-Island Advertising, requested $14,000, suggested grant award, $5,000, or 35.7 percent of requested grant);

Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce (Visitor Information Center, requested $65,410, suggested grant award, $40,000, or 61.1 percent of requested grant);

Bainbridge Island Downtown Association (Multi-Media Destination Marketing Campaign, (requested $68,100, suggested grant award, $35,000, or 51.3 percent of requested grant);

Bainbridge Island Historical Museum (Second Annual Pickleball Founders Tournament, requested $29,910, suggested grant award, $12,000, or 40.1 percent of requested grant);

Bainbridge Island Lodging Association (Destination Bainbridge: 2020, $89,600, suggested grant award, $56,000, or 62.5 percent of requested grant);

Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (Cultural Impact Programs & Festivals, requested $10,000, suggested grant award, $5,000, or 25 percent of requested grant);

Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation (Trillium Trail Family Run, requested $9,000, suggested grant award, $6,500, or 72.2 percent of requested grant);

Bloedel Reserve (Shoulder Season Awareness Campaign: “Fish Where the Fish Are,” requested $23,000, suggested grant award, $6,500, or 28.2 percent of requested grant);

City of Bainbridge Island (Downtown Wayfinding Signs, requested $36,000, suggested grant award, $12,000, or 33.3 percent of requested grant);

North Kitsap Tourism Coalition (Media Support, requested $10,000, suggested grant award, $7,000, or 70 percent of requested grant);

Visit Bainbridge Island (Multi-Media Destination Marketing Campaign, requested $71,500, suggested grant award, $50,000, or 69.9 percent of requested grant);

Winery Alliance of Bainbridge Island (Wine on the Rock Event, requested $27,750, suggested grant award, $12,000, or 43.2 percent of requested grant).

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