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Fireworks look like a go for New Year’s Eve in Baltimore

It looks like Baltimore will ring in the 2012 with fireworks after all.

City officials said Friday that more than $32,500 was donated following a report Thursday in The Daily Record that the city’s Office of Promotion & the Arts lacked money for the annual fireworks display on New Year’s Eve.

“We are confident we’ll have the fireworks,” said Tracy Baskerville, spokeswoman for the Office of Promotion & the Arts, in the wake of the new donations. “I think we’re looking good.”

This week, the promotions office, a nonprofit run by the city, reported it had raised just $27,500 toward the New Year’s fireworks display — short of the minimum $75,000 to $100,000 needed to light up the sky with colorful blasts and rockets, Baskerville said.

That amount included a $10,000 contribution by the owners of the luxury 190-unit Ritz Carlton Residences on the waterfront in Federal Hill, who donated after learning of the possibility the fireworks would be cancelled because of a lack of funding.

Baltimore’s New Year’s Eve Spectacular has potential for a $6.9 million economic impact for the city, a 2009 study concluded. More than 100,000 people in the past have watched the show, which blasts off from two barges anchored in the harbor.

Baskerville said the city-owned Hilton Hotel Baltimore donated $7,500, and developer Willard Hackerman contributed $25,000 for the pyrotechnics extravaganza Thursday. A third pledge was also received from local law firm Kramon & Graham for $25,000, but the office was awaiting final approval, she added.

General Growth Properties, owner of Harborplace & the Gallery, has also pledged $15,000 for the show.

In addition, marketing managers of the Hyatt Regency Baltimore said Friday they would contribute to the fireworks display, and were finalizing the amount Friday.

For the past three years, Ports America Chesapeake has underwritten the city’s fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July. This spring, the company announced it would only subsidize the summer show, leaving a need for new sponsors for the New Year’s Eve extravaganza.

Liz Breaux, a sales and marketing representative at the Hyatt Regency, said the hotel is expecting more than 1,400  revelers for a giant New Year’s Eve party called the Downtown Countdown, held with Mother’s Federal Hill Grille.

“The party is large here, it’s generally just fun and exciting,” she said. “We are donating to the fireworks [effort], but we have not set the amount yet.”

One comment

  1. Nice to see people step up to the plate esp. the homeowners who chipped in.