Lights out on county’s ‘Red, White and Boom’

Those looking for fireworks on the Fourth of July will have to look for someplace other than Desert Breeze Park to get their fix.

Clark County has canceled its annual “Red, White and Boom” fireworks and music festival, which drew as many as 25,000 people to the park at 8275 Spring Mountain Road.

“It was a pretty popular event, but it was also a very expensive one,” Erik Pappa, a county spokesman, said Friday. “We decided to focus our resources on a new event and other signature events” throughout the year.

The new holiday celebration, called “Red, White and Splash,” will be held at 13 county public pools and water parks. Admission will be free.

“We thought this year, we’d go back to the neighborhoods and celebrate the Fourth with old-fashioned neighborhood celebrations,” Pappa said. “It should be a lot of fun.”

Pappa believes people who need to see skyrockets on the Fourth will be adequately served by fireworks shows planned by other agencies throughout Southern Nevada.

“If you still have a hankering for fireworks, there’s fireworks shows pretty much all over the valley,” he said.

Pappa said it cost the county around $250,000 to put on “Red, White and Boom,” which in its latter years evolved into a two-day event with popular music acts. Most of the cost was recouped from gate receipts, he said.

Though the new events will cost “significantly less,” Pappa said, the biggest toll “Red, White and Boom” put on the county was in the form of time spent by park staff coordinating the event.

“We put thousands of hours of staff time in organizing it, cleaning it up,” he said.

Pappa said the decision was made last year, well before this year’s retirement of parks chief Pat Marchese.

The county is open to resuscitating “Red, White and Boom” at some point, depending on public demand and staff priorities.

“It doesn’t mean it won’t come back in the future. We’re always evaluating what our events are,” he said. “It was popular with some segments of the community. We’ll see how it goes this year.”

The county plans to go ahead with its other major holiday events, such as the “Gift of Lights” Christmas light display at Sunset Park.

“At this point, everything is a go,” Pappa said.

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