Oil Cleanup Spoils Gulf's July 4th Parties

Tourism crisis, danger of fire dampen celebrations
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2010 2:14 PM CDT
Workers demonstrate sand-cleaning technology for evaluators from Florida's Department of Environmental Protection, which organized the event, and BP on Pensacola Beach, Fla., July 1, 2010.   (AP Photo/Melissa Nelson)
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(Newser) – Fourth of July celebrations will be scaled down in many Gulf Coast towns, where the BP oil spill and cleanup effort are taking a big bite out of holiday fun. Cash-strapped governments dealing with the tourism bust have canceled fireworks displays, and some have moved their pyrotechnics inland because of fears the oily water could catch fire, reports the Miami Herald. Meanwhile, some fireworks barges are busy with the cleanup.

"We're doing 25 or 30 shows down here, and most of them are suffering some way or the other, and changing everything," says a rep for a fireworks producer. The company president says the relocated shows are "a definite downgrade"—munitions closer to observers must be smaller for safety reasons. Crowds will likely be smaller, too: Some communities report vacation bookings off by as much as 50%.

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