BYRON, Ill (WIFR) -- The sky in Byron will be bare this fourth of July. The firework display is canceled.
Byron Fireworks canceled, lack of funding and space
"It stinks," says Byron native Mitchell Johnson. "What's more American than a small town firework display?"
Johnson says he usually watches the show from his house, and hasn't decided where he will go this year. Other Byron residents agree.
"It'd be nice and convenient to have them here," says Rachel Hansen. "We live here, and Byron is such a nice, growing community."
Byron Mayor John Rickard says the city is not a sponsor of the firework show, and he was notified it was canceled two weeks ago.
"The explanation [was] that there is a conflict with logistics they couldn't work out," he says. "It was an event that a lot of the community liked to support, so we want to try and find a way to make it happen again, as soon as next year."
A volunteer committee is responsible for collecting donations. This year donations were low. According to Byron Police Chief Todd Murray, the lack of funding was a major contributing factor to cancel the event.
The factor that pushed the decision over the edge was logistical planning issues with the Byron Dragway. The Dragway will host a larger event over Fourth of July weekend, and vendors are likely going to set up on the Fourth.
Murray says this created a safety and space issue. He says they are working with volunteers for next year, and are hopeful to host the display in the future.