MADISON (WKOW) -- The largest fireworks show in the Midwest may lose its spark unless things go extremely well this weekend.
"I'd say there's a real risk to R&B and whether we can continue after this year," says founder and organizer Terry Kelly.
Like so many things, Rhythm and Booms has not been the same since 2008; the Great Recession.
The less-than-great recovery has meant no money leftover for charities for the past three years. And this year there's some major downsizing.
The music stage has been moved to the concession area and the carnival midway is gone.
Police asked that the carnival be canceled because of fights and security problems. But that's not the only concern; there's always the weather.
"We've had two rain dates in the past five years. Every time we have a rain date, we have to pay twice for the city police protection and other kinds of set up events," notes Kelly.
"So we're struggling with a modest deficit at this point. It's becoming harder and harder to raise the money to fund what's basically a $400,000 a year obligation/gift to the city."
And for that to continue, Kelly says this year's event will need more volunteers, more business sponsorships and more donations from people at the park that day.
"If people want this to continue, it'll show because of the outpouring of community support. If not, its time may have passed."
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