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July 4th daytime events at Sparks Marina cancelled

SPARKS, Nev. -- If you were planning to celebrate the Fourth of July at the Sparks Marina this summer, you're going to need to change your plans.

The Chamber is canceling the daytime Star Spangled Sparks events. Reports this morning blamed it on the city pulling funding, but that's just not true.

The Fourth of July at the Sparks Marina was never about making money, if you ask Len Stevens. It was a celebration of our community. "It was a chamber's way of saying thank you for sponsoring and supporting our businesses all year long."

But Stevens, executive director of the Chamber, said they can't afford to keep doing it. "It was a great event and it's a little emotional to have been involved in that and to lose it."

Stevens has been working on Star Spangled Sparks for more than a decade. "Sponsorships aren't the same," he said. "The volunteers aren't the same. Sparks Idol isn't the same."

While participation was dropping, the costs of running the event kept climbing. "If you start adding volunteer hours and your staff hours you're into the 60's, maybe $70,000," Stevens said.

So after last year's event, Stevens said they realized it was time for a change - a decision they didn't come to lightly. "We're going to miss it, but it's the right thing to do for us and for our membership," Stevens said.

The fireworks at John Ascuaga's Nugget and the vendors in Victorian Square are not affected by this decision. So you can still celebrate Star Spangled Sparks during the afternoon and evening on July 4.