Pivotal year for the City of Tuscaloosa's July 4th Celebration o - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Pivotal year for the City of Tuscaloosa's July 4th Celebration on the River

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TUSCALOOSA, AL - What thousands may have been making a July fourth tradition may be in jeopardy of not returning.

Since 2011 the City of Tuscaloosa has been putting on a "July 4th Celebration on the River" at the amphitheater.

But since the events conception attendance has dropped by nearly a thousand people each year.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has said this year's event is pivotal in determining the future of the celebration.

A performance by the symphony orchestra, activities for the kids, and of course fireworks, that's been the typical plan for Tuscaloosa’s July 4th celebration at the amphitheater.

But what about the expenses you don't see? “There's a lot of, a lot of factors that go into putting on an event like this. We have to pay the artist. We have to pay for fireworks. We have to pay for police and security. We have to pay for the TDOT workers to come and block off parking. We have to pay for shuttles,” City of Tuscaloosa Communication Director Deidre Stalnaker said.

Last year, despite the soggy weather about two-thousand people attended the celebration, which meant the city barely broke even on the cost. So how is attendance shaping up this year?

Stalnaker added, “Right now our revenue is about, a little over 70-thousand and our expenses are about 55. That's going to change as we get in invoices and everything and as we sell tickets and concessions.”

In order to break even about half the amphitheater will need to be filled, which is about 3-thousand seats and luckily by Thursday that's how many tickets were sold.

So what is the city doing this year to increase attendance?

Christy Bobo with the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater said, “We do have a special surprise planned. And so I would encourage anyone to be at the amphitheater by 8 o'clock and be around to be a part of our special surprise.”

So rain or shine, the show will go on and the city is hoping this won't be the last year the community will celebrate together.

The gates to the amphitheater open at 6:30. Individual tickets are five dollars. A family 4-pack is ten dollars and children five and under get in free.

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