Fireworks

Fans of Somerset's Fourth of July celebration known as SomerBlast, take heed: The event will not be held this year.

For the past few years, the event was held at the SomerSplash water park, where visitors could view the sparkling spectacle from the coolness of the park's pools. Before that, it was held at SomerSport Park.

Besides fireworks, SomerBlast included food vendors, live music and extra events within the park and surrounding it.

Mayor Alan Keck said that the event was a large expense for a two-hour show with "very little economic impact."

"Due to the fact that we have multiple firework shows throughout the community, and the total cost being in excess of $45,000, we have decided to allocate those funds to other events throughout the year," Keck said.

Those other community firework shows are usually hosted by the City of Burnside, 27 Twin Drive-In and Lee's Ford Marina.

Keck added Somerset government has not fully decided on what other events - if any - it will sponsor that weekend.

He said also that the city planned to work with county government in the future, but that for this year the county's plans were already set.

It's not the first time in recent memory in which the firework display was endangered. In 2016, city council members themselves weighed in on whether the event was too expensive.

Former council member Pat Bourne asked that a $25,000 bid for the fireworks only not be awarded to the winning contractor.

Other councilors, like John Ricky Minton, agreed with that assessment, while then-Mayor Girdler and Councilor Jerry Wheeldon were in favor of continuing the event.

In the end, the city hosted the show with financial assistance from county government.