La Jolla fireworks details falling into place

By Dave Schwab

Staff Writer

Deborah Marengo is feeling a bit more confident this week that La Jolla will have a fireworks show — but she still needs a little help from fans of the pyrotechnic display.

“Now with cash in hand I’m at $19,176,” Marengo, a board member of the La Jolla Community Fireworks Foundation, said Monday. The amount includes a $5,000 donation from Audrey Geisel and the Dr. Seuss Foundation but does not include $5,000 pledged by La Jollans Deni and Jeff Jacobs.

“I’m a little concerned about some of the commitments not having arrived yet,” said Marengo adding, “I just need to stress the real importance of people making donations: Everyone needs to pledge something.”

If the fund tops what’s needed, the money will roll over to the 2012 celebration, she said.

Marengo said this year’s show would be scaled back from last year’s gala presentation.

“Because we had difficulty raising enough money last year, and the new costs of the permitting process, we have cut out the Marine Corps band with the staging and sound system required that really moved the show up into the $40,000 range,” she said.

Marengo estimated this year’s downsized display would cost $28,000 to $30,000.

Applications for all of the necessary permits have been submitted, though those costs can vary and increase over time.

“I’ve paid the Water Quality Control permit fee and I just got the San Diego park use permit, which is only $27 but has rules and regulations that are six pages,”Marengo said.

Lumped into the park-use permit fee are more than half a dozen other fees that must be paid including a life and safety permit, a fire department permit, hiring a company to do signage and the hiring of a clean-up crew, added Marengo. “There are 34 items,” she noted.

She added that organizing the event is getting to be more than one person can handle. She stepped up in 2009, assisting with fundraising when George Hauer of George’s at the Cove, who had organized the event for years, said the event had become cost prohibitive.

“I’d like to see the new merchants association run it,” a suggestion she made recently to the Association. “I’d be really happy to help out.”



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