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!