Fireworks show will happen but still faces $12,000 gap

Although the gap between the cost and funds for the Fourth of July Fireworks Show at Crowley Lake is narrowing after a group of private businesses and individuals stepped up to the plate to help, the approximately $28,000 celebration is still in the red by $12,000, according to Mammoth Lakes officials.

The show will happen, officials said Tuesday, but the amount still to be raised could be fungible, if the Mammoth Lakes Recreation Commission has its way over the next few months by focusing on either reducing the cost of the event a little bit more—or increasing the incoming revenues.

Right now, the deficit is split between the cost of the show and the cost of a band to play at the show, or $7,000 that still needs to be raised for the show and $5,000 that still needs to be raised for the band, Pops in the Park.

“Is there a way to get more than the $5 per car?” said commissioner Teri Stehlik on Tuesday, Feb 4, referring to the $25 per vehicle that the Crowley Lake Fish Camp charges for the event, $5 of which goes to the Town to help pay for the show.

“Maybe there is some wiggle room.”

The agreement to collect the $5 out of the $25 fee is a long-standing agreement between the Town and Fish Camp, according to town officials.

“Yes, everyone shows up and shoves as many people as they can into a truck,” said Commissioner Bill Sauser.

“How about talking to the Crowley Lake homeowners, maybe the RPAC (Regional Planning Advisory Committee),” said Stehlick, adding maybe the Town could get “community donations” to help out with the cost of the show.

Maybe, said Commissioner Pat Agnitch, who lives in Crowley Lake.

“The RPAC (when Agnitch served on it) did not even want to put up a sign saying ‘Welcome to Crowley Lake, she said.’”

Another suggestion was to reduce the number of the 45-member Pops in the Park band that is scheduled to perform at the event, although that idea didn’t gain a lot of traction during the agenda item discussion.

Before the discussion ended Tuesday, the commission agreed to pursue “making some phone calls” to those involved in the production regarding possible ways to cut costs.

Regardless of whether costs can be cut, the show will happen, said Mammoth Lakes Recreation Director Stuart Brown.

“At this time we are committing to these fireworks,” he said, even if the show is not fully funded by the deadlines and the remaining money has to come out of the Town of Mammoth Lakes general fund.

Brown noted that the fundraising group, spearheaded by Town Councilmember Matthew Lehman and headed by Jack Copeland from the Mammoth Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Ted Carleton, the editor of The Sheet, and Aleksandra Gajewski, the editor of the Mammoth Times, had “done great work.”

The commission also thanked Rick Elkus, who has annually donated $5,000 toward the show.