The City of Florence has done away with the Spirit of Freedom celebration that we have had for almost 30 years due to lack of contributing sponsors.

Well I believe if we would quit building things like a new fountain and cobblestone street that cost close to $250,000 just for a small portion of Mobile Plaza (Legend's Steakhouse) and start putting money back for something that children and families in this area look forward to every year; this could have made the festival happen this year like it has for many years! I am all for making downtown look better and support it 100%, but I just wish that there was more cost effective ways to do that.

I mean come on; it brings 30,000+ people into our city and gives everyone here an affordable way to celebrate our nation’s birthday. Some families can’t afford to go and buy up big boxes of fireworks from the price gouging vendors that are set up everywhere throughout North Alabama and especially the Shoals area. So they rely on taking their families to McFarland Park as they have for years.

I may be talking out of place here but I believe that this is just a disgrace to the people here in our area. You can’t tell me that the City of Florence doesn’t have some form or fashion of raising the money or at least contributing some money to keep this going. I know we have tons of officers that are there that have to keep things in line; but maybe cut back on the amount of them we have there this year and save a little money. Then if something does breakout and happen, have some that are on standby for support? I mean I know half these guys don't even want to be down there, most of the time just standing around just in case something happens.

I don’t know, I’m really just venting on how I feel and I wish there was a way that we could still put this thing on. They said here in the paper “there's a possibility the event could be saved this year, but sponsors would have to come forward quickly because of all the logistical issues that must be covered”. I say we start calling some sponsors and see what they have to say!

Any thoughts?
.."It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything."..
Original Post
I like corn and rice, but I'd hate to see the Spirit of Freedom celebration not happen this year.

This has been a long tradition since before I was even born. I really think Florence needs to quit being so conservative to the point that they're cutting back on the wrong things and driving people away from the city.

Coming into Florence and seeing half the stores in the mall closed, other businesses closed down around town, whole shopping centers sitting empty...it's time that our City Council does something to boost this town back to a place where people want to come and visit, shop, and live. If not, I think it's time that we tell them that they work for us, they're not doing their job, and that we will replace them in the next election.
quote:
Originally posted by JK Hawk:
I like corn and rice, but I'd hate to see the Spirit of Freedom celebration not happen this year.

This has been a long tradition since before I was even born. I really think Florence needs to quit being so conservative to the point that they're cutting back on the wrong things and driving people away from the city.

Coming into Florence and seeing half the stores in the mall closed, other businesses closed down around town, whole shopping centers sitting empty...it's time that our City Council does something to boost this town back to a place where people want to come and visit, shop, and live. If not, I think it's time that we tell them that they work for us, they're not doing their job, and that we will replace them in the next election.


You are right JK Hawk, I hope that the city sees what this has done to people!
I think that there would a thread on the waste of taxpayers money if the city went ahead with it. Or at least why didn't anyone from Colbert County pitch in since they still likely benefit. It's unfortunate but you have to pick and choose what's more important. But most of us still haven't realized that yet.
quote:
Originally posted by nola_funk:
they should get budweiser or miller as a sponsor and serve beer this year. problem solved.

Do you really think the church fanatics would allow this? After all, they stop everything else that they think is a "sin"
Many of the churches have their own celebrations. Grace Life puts on an awesome fireworks display every year. The city of Muscle Shoals did a great show every year during City Fest, but that was chopped by the budget axe as well. It's hard to justify spending money on fireworks when there is no money in the budget for employee raises. I love fireworks, but not nearly as much as paying the bills on time. Frowner
Boo Hoo! Being a tradition doesn't mean it has to continue. I went a couple of times when I was younger and dumber. I wasn't awe-struck by any means. White Lion had better fireworks at their concerts. (That's bad. I know.) What I'm saying is this; there is no really good place to watch the fireworks unless you live on the bluff in Sheffield or somewhere close to downtown Florence. Otherwise, you have to push your way through dirty, smelly morons, park illegally on a bridge, or get in a boat and battle all the drunk boaters on the lake. Thanks, but no thanks. I'll stick to spending some quality time with my family.
quote:
Originally posted by Tomme73:
Boo Hoo! Being a tradition doesn't mean it has to continue. I went a couple of times when I was younger and dumber. I wasn't awe-struck by any means. White Lion had better fireworks at their concerts. (That's bad. I know.) What I'm saying is this; there is no really good place to watch the fireworks unless you live on the bluff in Sheffield or somewhere close to downtown Florence. Otherwise, you have to push your way through dirty, smelly morons, park illegally on a bridge, or get in a boat and battle all the drunk boaters on the lake. Thanks, but no thanks. I'll stick to spending some quality time with my family.


i have watched the fireworks with my family from the bluff, from inside the park, or from the coliseum since i was a little girl. my daughter looks forward to this every year. we make a picnic, my sister's family joins us, and we make a day of it. it may not be your tradition, but it is someone's tradition.
while i would not want the city to sponsor such an event exclusively, i find it hard to believe they could not get other multiple sponsors to chip in or accept donations at the park. usually, i see target, chickfila, and other local businesses passing out goodies or sponsoring events. why not hit them up?
"You can’t tell me that the City of Florence doesn’t have some form or fashion of raising the money or at least contributing some money to keep this going. I know we have tons of officers that are there that have to keep things in line; but maybe cut back on the amount of them we have there this year and save a little money. Then if something does breakout and happen, have some that are on standby for support? I mean I know half these guys don't even want to be down there, most of the time just standing around just in case something happen."

The main priority of the police presence is that an alarming number of children go missing in the crowd. As soon as we decreased the number of officers there and a child was abducted you guys would be on here complaining that the lazy cops didn't want to help and just didn't even show. The fourth of July is one of the busiest nights for the city. All the patrol officers working are very busy and off duty officers are required for the event. Maybe a good happy medium would be private security. But then gain money is the issue. The city pays for the police but the problem is with sponsors.

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