Fans of the Fabulous Fourth Festival held annually on July 4 in Conyers will need to seek out other festivities in the region this year. The city decided in January to put the festival on hold due to budget concerns.
“This was a difficult decision the mayor and council made earlier in the year when budgeting for fiscal year 2012-2013 was taking place,” said City Manager Tony Lucas. “The struggling economy and the cost of the event factored into the decision to cancel this year’s event. More importantly, the fact that Horse Park employees and police officers working this event have not had the opportunity to enjoy the holiday with their families for years and the cost to pay these employees to be on-site for the demanding preparation for the event and the day’s festivities was significant.”
The last several several years the festival has cost the city thousands of dollars even after sponsorships and not counting the cost of labor and overtime from city employees and police officers. City council and staff also discussed during their winter retreat earlier this year the liabilities from an event with such a large crowd of people.
The Fabulous Fourth Festival has been held at the Georgia International Horse Park since 2003 when it relocated from Olde Town Conyers due to the growth of the event and due to safety concerns. Over the past eight years the Fabulous Fourth grew to include a patriotic program, children’s activities, arts and crafts vendors, entertainment, an Ultimate Air Dogs show and a car show in addition to the fireworks.
City officials have estimated the crowds at the Fabulous Fourth in excess of 15,000 in past years. The event offered free parking and admission.
“Our budget is determined by a number of factors each year, so we will definitely re-evaluate next year to see if we can bring back this popular event in 2013,” said Lucas.