Bedford says 'no fireworks' after unruly 2012 crowd

12:12 PM, Jun 25, 2013   |    comments
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BEDFORD -- Fireworks and the 4th of July go hand in hand. It's a tradition most Americans don't do without.

But some communities in Northeast Ohio are cutting out their fireworks displays and the reason isn't always lack of money.

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"It's the event everybody looks forward to," says Chris Bulanda, who grew up in Bedford. And ever since he was a kid, he and his family would go to the 4th of July fireworks.

Except for last year.

"Last year was the first year that we didn't go. We actually watched them from our backyard because it was just crazy, the amount of people," says Bulanda.

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The quaint town of Bedford all of a sudden became one of the hottest spots to be because they were one of the only ones in the region shooting off a fireworks display.

Ten people were arrested. Eight were not Bedford residents.

"I don't fault people for going to whereever the fireworks are. Our concern is the increased cost that we could possibly use the money for better things," says Bedford City Manager Hank Angelo.

Angelo says to control the crowd, the city would need to hire extra officers to ensure everyone's safety. And instead of risking another troublesome event, he and the City Council voted to not have fireworks this year.

While cities stop offering the necessary tradition, people are also taking fireworks into their own hands.

More states, including Michigan and Kentucky, opened up sale of consumer fireworks in the past 3 years.

And at-home use is up 100 percent since 1994.

Bedford isn't ruling out a fireworks display for 2014.


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