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City of Jersey City

Office of the Mayor
June 28, 2000

No Fireworks on July 4th?

250,000 New Jerseyans to Have No View of OpSail 2000 Fireworks from Liberty State Park
Mayor Schundler Appeals to New York City, Macy's, and OpSail, Inc. to Add Fireworks Display

Jersey City
OpSail 2000 -- a once in a lifetime event. Classic tall ships and naval vessels from around the world will be majestically moored in the Hudson River this weekend, playing host to millions of visitors. 250,000 New Jersey residents alone are expected to visit Liberty State Park in Jersey City on July 4th to enjoy the festivities. But even though Liberty State Park was selected to be New Jersey's official headquarters for OpSail 2000 festivities, visitors at the park on July 4th will be needlessly deprived of a view of Macy's planned fireworks finale.

Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler will be hosting a press conference at the Liberty Science Center tomorrow at 10:30 am with several Jersey City families to issue a last minute appeal to Mayor Giuliani, Macy's, and Ret. Admiral Paul Welling, Chief Operating Officer of OpSail, Inc., to relocate two fireworks barges to Upper New York Bay, opposite Liberty State Park, so that New Jersey visitors will be able to enjoy the fireworks display on July 4th.

"This is about being fair. Children and families, regardless of whether they happen to live in New York or New Jersey, should be able to enjoy the fireworks on July 4th," said Mayor Schundler.

"OpSail 2000 is not a local celebration, it's not a regional celebration. OpSail 2000 is a national celebration for all Americans. Therefore, if Liberty State Park is going to be New Jersey's official OpSail 2000 headquarters, it ought to have a view of the fireworks," Schundler said.

Schundler said that his event planning staff have lobbied OpSail 2000, Inc. event organizers for months for an amendment to the location of the fireworks display. Recently, he has followed up these internal requests with letters to Ret. Admiral Welling and Mayor Giuliani. In addition, last week Schundler administration officials spoke to New York Deputy Mayor Washington's office, who is coordinating festivities for New York City, and officials from Macy's.

"No one wants to take responsibility for the location of the fireworks. OpSail and Macy's say it's New York City's decision, New York says it's OpSail and Macy's decision. Everyone is pointing their finger at someone else. And the children are caught in the middle. That's unacceptable. If the federal government, City of New York, and Macy's can agree to accommodate NBC television cameras by placing low level fireworks at the Statue of Liberty, then they ought to be able to accommodate New Jersey's families. I am hopeful that if we can keep up public pressure on this issue, the event organizers will get together and do the right thing," Schundler said.

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