The Franklin County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to provide financial support for Veterans Memorial to cover costs associated with hosting the 2008 Red, White & BOOM! celebration. The event was forced to move to the new location due to a construction project at the former site.
Commissioners noted the historic importance of celebrating the nation’s independence as well as the civic importance of keeping the event downtown.
Commission President Marilyn Brown said, "Red, White & BOOM! has become a wonderful tradition in Franklin County and an event our residents enjoy so much. Keeping this great community event downtown is very important and I’m glad we were able to assure its home will remain in our downtown!"
"We look forward to the continued success of Red, White & BOOM!" said Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy. "How appropriate it is that we will be launching fireworks in celebration of our nation’s independence from the very place resurrected to honor the brave service of the women and men who fought, and continue to fight, for our independence."
Veterans Memorial would have incurred a loss of revenues, in parking receipts and rentable event space, had the commissioners not acted to reimburse them in the amount of $30,000.
"Red, White and Boom is a family affair that brings a half million people into the heart of downtown Columbus every year to celebrate our nation and our community," said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. "We truly appreciate the commissioners’ partnership to keep this event going at the same time as we all work to invest in the future of downtown with the new riverfront Scioto Mile Park."
"Red, White & Boom is a celebration of our democracy and a remembrance of those who have sacrificed to preserve it," stated Commissioner Paula Brooks. "I am proud to support his celebration, which introduces newcomers and long-time residents to all that is new downtown. This leads to new investment and new jobs right in the heart of our community for the benefit of all of Franklin County."
"Veterans Memorial has a long history as the site for community-wide celebrations, and that is especially true of Red, White & BOOM! where thousands of Franklin County residents return each year to our grounds to be part of this terrific event," said General Manager John Loree. "The support of the Board of Commissioners makes it possible for us to be the new launch site for the fireworks and creates new and expanded viewing areas for everyone to view the spectacular finale of what is a community tradition and point of pride."
Red, White & BOOM! is expected to be held on the grounds of Veterans Memorial through 2011.