AP NEWS

Let’s give laser show a chance

May 22, 2019

The city of Kankakee stands to catch some flak regarding its decision to eliminate the traditional Fourth of July fireworks show in favor of a laser light show.

But before the critics raise too much of a clamor, let’s consider some ways the change could prove beneficial.

The first has to do with sheer cost. Kankakee was facing a bill of $20,000 annually to continue with the fireworks, and that price tag put its future in jeopardy. With an eye on the overall bottom line, it has become increasingly more difficult to justify spending so much on what amounts to a single night of entertainment.

Thus, Laser Encore has been given a one-year, $12,000 contract to provide the aerial thrills on the fast approaching first Thursday of July at Kankakee Community College. The company promises a show which will captivate the audience.

It can do so without the drawbacks of fireworks either. Let’s face it, while as American as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie, fireworks produce loud noises which easily scare young children and pets.

We do have some concern that the change will have an adverse impact on the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra, which raised funds from the event through a $20 per carload charge applied to those who attended.

The new contract calls for no admission charge, but will allow the symphony to seek donations and sponsorships to raise money. That’s where our community reputation for generous giving needs to be displayed once more.

Businesses and individuals alike should consider helping out. Prior to the aerial show, the symphony always has performed an impressive patriotic concert, and that, in itself, is worth a dollar or two in a donation bucket.

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