City’s July 4th party scaled back

Published 5:38 pm Friday, February 18, 2011

The entertainment at the City of Bainbridge’s Fourth of July celebration will be scaled-down again from past years’ big concerts, but City Manager Chris Hobby said he’s still expecting those who attend will have a good time.

After bringing up-and-coming country music stars to perform at July 4th shows at the Earle May Boat Basin for several years, a local band performed for free at last year’s event due to the Bainbridge City Council cutting back on expenses.

This year, the council budgeted about $43,000 for the July 4th show, including $15,000 for the fireworks display.

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However, Hobby told the council Tuesday night he is trying to hire an entertainer for about $10,000. Although no contract had been signed as of Tuesday, Hobby said city staff have been looking at an 1980s/1990s rock cover band to come perform.

City Councilwoman Roslyn Palmer objected to the city spending thousands of dollars on the July 4th entertainment.

“I think we would do fine having free entertainment again or just playing CD music,” Palmer said. “The fireworks is really what people come out to see.”

Hobby said that even booking free or lower-cost local entertainment would incur some production costs, such as paying someone to set up and take down equipment.

Past July 4th acts have included Nashville artists Jason Aldean, Trent Tomlinson, Randy Houser, Julie Roberts and Danielle Peck; as well as local favorites Tina Brock and the Leigh Mullis Band.

Other business

In other business, the City Council:

• Approved a bill of $5,754.51 from R & M Connections of Leesburg, Ga., for fiber optics equipment to be located on the E-911 tower.

• Approved a bill of $4,013.95 from Beck Motor Company of Albany, Ga., for parts and labor to repair the fuel system on a Peterbuilt knuckleboom trash truck.

• Mayor Edward Reynolds reminded the council about its upcoming annual retreat, to be held March 18-19 at Georgia Veterans State Park on Lake Blackshear.