San Ramon's traditional July 4 aerial fireworks display -- which grew tremendously popular year after year, especially as neighboring cities eliminated their fireworks shows, has been cancelled by city leaders this year.
It could, however, return in 2013.
The aerial Independence Day fireworks at San Ramon's Central Park, which began in 1985 from the lawn of Toyota in the Bishop Ranch Business Park, was a community tradition which remained popular with residents. They said their city identified strongly with the annual pyrotechnics event. After all, San Ramon incorporated only
two years before the first aerial fireworks were launched into the evening sky.
There is still a possibility that the aerial fireworks could return next year. The City Council voted 5-0 to direct city staff to devise a plan that would address City Hall and the police department's concern over numerous public safety issues.
Within that vote, the council also directed staff to proceed with planning for an Independence Day celebration at Central Park for this July, but without the possibility of ground pyrotechnics. To include ground fireworks at the event was originally proposed by Karen McNamara, interim parks and community services director, and city staff.
Staff to devise a proposed ordinance designed to
legalize so-called "safe and sane" fireworks. If approved, it would apply to future Independence Day celebrations, but not this year's.
San Ramon was one of the few cities left in the Bay Area to hold a July 4 fireworks display. Livermore discontinued its fireworks show. And, earlier this year, Concord decided to cancel its display beginning this summer. Martinez is the nearest city to still present a city-sponsored July 4 aerial fireworks show.
Only three San Ramon residents, two of whom were teenagers, spoke before the City Council, to ask them not to eliminate the aerial fireworks show.
There was no public outcry at the council meeting, which was not held in the council chambers at City Hall, but at the Dougherty Station Community Center in the city's Dougherty Valley. The meeting followed a reception there for former Mayor Abram Wilson and former Councilwoman Carol Rowley.