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July 16th, 2014

This Week in Orange County 7-16-14

Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus

When plans were first being drawn up for a brand new Salute to Our Veterans Fireworks Spectacular in May, my administration was told that an event of this kind wouldn’t work. The naysayers noted that the last such countywide fireworks show occurred in 2005. They said that our nearly $60 million budget gap next year meant that Orange County couldn’t afford to celebrate its veterans. Next I heard that the timing of the event was too close to other Independence Day celebrations. Thanks to some hard work, careful planning, and help from such generous sponsors as Suburban Propane, Orange County was able to present the 2014 Salute to Our Veterans Fireworks Spectacular on July 5 at no cost to county taxpayers.

The 2014 Salute to Our Veterans Fireworks Spectacular broke a summer drought of nearly 10 years. For almost a decade, Orange County families were denied a major fireworks show and a chance for our entire community to come together. When I ran for County Executive, I promised to change this – and this year we did. I couldn’t be happier with the result. Suburban Propane sponsored an Independence Day celebration like no other. It was inspiring for me, as someone who has lived here his whole life, to see families and friends enjoying what Orange County has to offer. The best part? We did it all for a great cause.

Our veterans are the backbone of this community. Their service goes unnoticed and underappreciated. I wanted to change that, and, when I approached Suburban Propane about doing a Salute to Our Veterans Fireworks show, they jumped at the idea. The thousands of folks who attended the July 5 show, who packed Thomas Bull Memorial Park, will not forget this event.

People ask me, Can we expect another Fireworks Spectacular in 2015? This year’s was the first of many, and with the outpouring of support from Suburban Propane and others for our veterans’ service and sacrifice, it’ll be a great show for an equally great cause.

Orange County had not hosted an Independence Day holiday fireworks show for its residents in almost a decade. These events are a chance for the whole community to come together and celebrate what it means to be an American and a resident of this community.

Our 2014 Salute to Our Veterans Fireworks Spectacular was a chance for us to give back to those who have sacrificed on our behalf, and I was honored to be a part of it.

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