4th of July 'Will Not Be 3-Day Event' in Montville
Rides, parade may be cancelled in 2013 but mayor said he is hopeful a group of volunteers will come together to make holiday tradition bigger next year.
The fireworks show will go on, but the extended celebration Montville Township has been used to celebrating around Independence Day for the past several years will be limited in 2013.
"It will not be a three-day event," Mayor Tim Braden said.
The township announced last week that this year's event will include fireworks at the Montville Community Park. But past that, Braden said he is unsure whether most of the activities, including the parade and flea market, will be a part of this year's celebration. What Braden was fairly certain would not be included this year are carnival rides.
Township officials said the event has been scaled back after the not-for-profit corporation that organized it each year, the Montville Township 4th of July Committee, Inc., was "no longer a viable corporation." The committee was made up of dozens of volunteers from Montville.
Braden said he was unable to comment on what happened with the committee, but two of the committee's leaders resigned late last year. One of those leaders was Irwin Paster, who chaired the committee for a number of years.
"After doing it for so many years, it's time somebody else took it over," Paster said.
In 2012, after the event, some residents questioned whether the township would once again have the large-scale celebration they had become accustomed to. Paster said he was confident it would. Now Paster said if the township did want to host the same kind of event as last year, officials would have to start planning right away.
"The only thing I can say is that they started late so it's going to be hard to put together a three-day event," he said.
Still, Braden said the township could not organize such an event on its own.
"It's too large a celebration for it to be a municipal function," he said.
Township Committee members recently discussed township-sponsored events versus township-endorsed events, the difference being how much funding the township allocates toward each. The Independence Day celebration was classified as a hybrid event as the township has exceeded the amount it would typically expend for an endorsed event to cover the costs of police and DPW overtime needed.
Braden said in order for a three-day celebration to move forward, the township would need help. While that committee may not be in place now, Braden said he is confident one will be in place in time for the following year's celebration.
"We anticipate getting back to a full-scale three-day event in 2014," he said.