On March 21, 2012 the Committee of the Whole, voted that the City of Elgin will provide $15,000 to enhance the fireworks display at the joint Independence Day celebration at the Sears Center. Councilman Prigge wanted to ensure there will be an "Elgin feel" with the fireworks. Elgin has been known to insist in 10 - 16 inch shells in the fireworks displays.
Elgin used to pay $30,000 just for fireworks. The current budget at the festival is $10,000-$15,000 for a 15-20 minute show. With the added $15,000 from Elgin we can go bigger, just like citizens are used to in an "Elgin feel" fireworks display.
At the Elginista blog, there is a poll where 80% of the respondents are in favor of having the Jaycees do fireworks in Elgin. That percentage seems spot on with everyone I've talked to over the past year.
Councilwoman Moeller, knowing the Elgin Jaycees have been working to bring the fireworks back, requested that the Jaycees be part of the of the Elgin committee for this event. I personally thanked her for mentioning the Jaycees on the record.
Based on all the calls, emails, txt messages, and Facebook messages, it seems like there is a divide in Elgin. The division is between the City of Elgin partnering with Hoffman Estates for celebration at the Sears Center and the Jaycees Family Fun Fest with Fireworks to be held in Elgin.
As I mentioned in a comment on Elginista's blog, it would cost the Jaycees about $60,000 to have the festival. Mayor Kaptain said that he estimates the total cost to hold such a festival in Elgin would cost around $100,000. The Jaycees event would start small and grow, year after year. Regardless, neither the Jaycees nor the City have the funds to hold the event in Elgin.
While everyone I talk to says they want the Jaycees to have it in town, donations and sponsorships should be at a higher level. However, since the mention of the joint festival surfaced last week, I have been contacted by multiple businesses who want to sponsor. I have been holding off in responding until we had out meetings with the City.
With that said, the Elgin Jaycees does not want a divide in Elgin. Our goal is to make available fireworks for Elgin citizens. The Independence Day Festival does accomplish the goal. The Festival will be better together than having something smaller in each individual town.
The Elgin Jaycees supports and endorses the joint Independence Day Festival with Hoffman Estates and Hanover Park. We will work with the City of Elgin and the Hoffman Estates event commission to make this festival something all citizens will enjoy and will want to attend year after year. We want to make sure there is an Elgin presence and feel, not just in the size of the fireworks, but in bringing the best of what Elgin has to offer to the event so the surrounding communities can experience and enjoy too.
Right now, if you want to go to a fireworks show, you have to leave Elgin. The difference is, this event is closer than the others. The Sears Center is extremely close to Elgin. The other thing is... It's FREE! Free Parking and Free Admittance! I can tell you that the Elgin Jaycee event was going to either charge for parking or charge to enter the festival. The Sears Center event is more economical for residents of the entire area.
I promise to you that the Elgin Jaycees will do our best to ensure Elgin is represented at this festival.
I promise to you to keep you updated and to be totally transparent.
If you want to get involved, want to volunteer, want to voice your concerns or opinions, please leave a comment on this site or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org