COOK COUNTY, GA (WALB) - There won't be as many 4th of July fireworks shows in South Georgia this year, as cash-strapped local governments and attractions try to save money.
However, the show will go on at Reed Bingham State Park. Thanks to donations, the park's fireworks display will be bigger than ever.
Monday, representatives from 19 county, city, and state agencies met to begin planning for a massive crowd. Reed Bingham estimates around 12,000 people will show up.
"Obviously, this event brings the single largest crowd of the year," says Park Manager Chet Powell. "This is our largest single day."
Due to budget cuts, Reed Bingham is receiving limited assistance, making it crucial for neighboring agencies to lend a hand.
"The people in this area have rallied around Reed Bingham and kept it going," says State Representative Penny Houston. "They've been so supportive."
The park will shoot a huge fireworks display above the lake. This year, the show is funded entirely by donors. Planning for the event takes an entire year.
"We actually start planning the day after for the next year. Every year we'll see a few things that we need to work on and improve," says Powell.
"It starts with meetings like this, where we all come together to discuss our needs," says Major Lan Skalla of the Georgia State Defense Force. "We go back and do more planning, and then come back and meet again to make sure we get all of the bases covered."
Georgia's Agrirama and Gibbs Patricks Farm in Omega have canceled their fireworks displays. Many people who normally enjoy fireworks there are expected to visit Reed Bingham instead, making the need for volunteers greater than ever.
The park will offer a variety of events throughout the day--another reason why their busiest day of the year will likely be busier than ever before.