“After 29 years of strong community support and four years of litigation to preserve the Fourth of July La Jolla Cove fireworks display in Ellen Browning Scripps Park, the nonprofit La Jolla Community Fireworks Foundation has finally raised sufficient funding for the 2014 show,” said foundation spokesperson Deborah Marengo on the group’s website at www.lajollafireworks.org. “However, the foundation regrets to inform the community that this year's 2014 Fourth of July event has been unable to retain a fireworks company at this late juncture. The 2014 Fourth of July Fireworks at La Jolla Cove will need to be cancelled because of the lack of any available licensed fireworks companies to perform the show.”
It costs the foundation about $30,000 per year to stage the event.
Marengo said litigation by environmental activists seeking tighter regulations for fireworks displays held over water has “unfortunately significantly delayed the necessary 2014 funding to the point where all available fireworks companies have become committed to other events.”
Encinitas-based Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation has filed several lawsuits against the city's permitting process for events, including those involving fireworks. Following its fourth action in 2011, it issued a statement that read, “Unfortunately, the City has instead chosen to vilify environmentalists, delay and avoid dealing with the issues head-on, and sidestep the law. All of this is being done for the right to play favorites with certain annual events."
Marengo said the City of San Diego has been “wonderfully supportive in continuing the La Jolla event and has incurred substantial expense in settling the four years of litigation by environmental activists.” She said all submitted donations will be refunded upon request.
But the fireworks organizer said there’s hope for the future.
“With the four years of litigation now behind us, the La Jolla Community Fireworks Foundation looks forward to putting on the 2015 Fourth of July event at La Jolla Cove,” she said. “Many thanks to the community for supporting this important civic event, and we sincerely regret this year's disappointing news. It has been a privilege to serve the community in celebration of America's independence.”