4th fireworks go on in Fayetteville despite cuts

July 4, 2013 8:27:49 PM PDT
The annual Fourth of July celebration was held in Fayetteville Thursday, despite federal budget cuts that forced Fort Bragg to cancel the event there.

It's a brand new situation for the city. Anyone who's lived in Cumberland and the surrounding counties knows Fort Bragg has been the place to go for fireworks for decades.

The cancellation was a huge disappointment. But in early May, ABC11 found out that one soldier's efforts literally saved the Fourth show in Fayetteville.

Army Staff Sergeant Jeff Wells wrote a winning "Red, White and You" essay for USA Weekend and the television network Destination America explaining why the All-American city deserved this show in light of budget cuts.

"I was a part of it, but I didn't save it on my own that's for sure," Wells said. "Apparently it was the right 138 words and here we are today."

Wells wrote about sequestration, the cuts, to the Bragg fireworks show and why the All-American city deserved all this.

"Probably because when we talk about Independence Day, the Fourth of July, we're meant to think of the people who fought to make sure that was there," Wells said.

So in early May, as the city was trying to figure out how to save the Fourth themselves, we learned it was getting $15,000 worth of fireworks, along with vendors, and kids play area in Festival Park.

Because this is a first time for the event in Festival Park, coordinators weren't sure what to expect in terms of turnout.

"All we know is that Fort Bragg has always got 50,000-plus people and we hope that we will be able to accommodate anyone who was used to going down there," said Erica Brady with the City of Fayetteville.

Click here for more from the City of Fayetteville

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