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Mar 17, 2010

Fallbrook fireworks on July 4 saved by county

LOCATION:  Fallbrook, north country of American 
DATE: Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 12:04 a.m.
DETAILS:  For a while it looked as though Fallbrook's July 4 extravaganza would not happen, but it now will come off as scheduled because of support from the county.

The county Board of Supervisors gave a $35,000 neighborhood investment program grant to The Beautification Alliance of Fallbrook, which hosts the event at the Grand Tradition Estate.

The Independence Day celebration is the major fundraiser of the alliance, which uses the proceeds for its projects, such as maintaining the medians on Mission Road, adding flowerpots to downtown and maintaining the Art in Public Places program.

The organization applied for the money through the Neighborhood Investment Grant Program in late 2009. Any nonprofit can apply for the grant. The application was submitted to county Supervisor Bill Horn, who presented it to the rest of the board. The alliance should have the money within a month.

"It looks good, thanks to the community support and that from the Board of Supervisors," said Jerri Patchett, president of the alliance. "We are beyond thrilled."

Patchett said all that is left is for the alliance's board to accept the grant when it meets Monday, which was the deadline for it to decide if the fireworks show would take place at all.

The organization has held the event for five years. The celebration was in jeopardy when many of the regular sponsors backed out this year because of the recession.

Members of the alliance worried that if the show were canceled, people would travel out of town to other venues and the alliance would have to drastically reduce its support of its beautification programs or stop them all together.

The organization makes money from the event through ticket sales — general admission is $25 for adults and $10 for children — and concession sales. The organizers sent word to other organizations, groups and individuals that $25,000 was needed just to reserve the display, but only $12,000 was raised.

Patchett said that while all of the organizations in the community have been generous, the alliance needs to look for another solution to fund the fireworks show and picnic.

The celebration is held at the Grand Tradition Estate at 1602 S. Mission Road. Tickets go on sale May 1.

Patty McCormac is a freelance writer from Oceanside.



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