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4th of July fireworks show proposed for Paso Robles

Posted at 6:49 PM, Apr 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 23:16:55-04

We’re exactly three months out from the 4th of July holiday and you may have a new option to see fireworks in northern San Luis Obispo County this year.

That’s because the fireworks celebration could be returning to Barney Schwartz Park.

The last fireworks celebration at the park was a decade ago.

But this Independence Day, it could return if given the green light during Tuesday’s Paso Robles City Council meeting.

Fireworks are a staple of the 4th of July holiday nationwide, but the Independence Day tradition has been missing from northern San Luis Obispo County for quite some time.

“It's just something that the community has been asking for for a couple of years now and with the pandemic waning, it just seems like a great opportunity to celebrate all together,” said Freda Berman, City of Paso Robles Events Manager.

From 2002 to 2012, there was a 4th of July fireworks show at Barney Schwartz Park that drew in upwards of 20,000 people each year.

In 2014, celebrations moved to the downtown area in coordination with the city’s 125th anniversary but the community fireworks celebration never happened again due to funding and a lack of volunteers.

“Last year, I got kind of the wild, crazy idea to bring them back,” explained John Arnold, Chairman of Travel Paso. “I talked to a lot of people in the administration, and they were very for it. It was just too little too late.”

Travel Paso is hoping to ignite the tradition for this 4th of July, becoming the only fireworks show in Paso Robles.

“I just think of my kids and other kids around the community really never had that opportunity the last 10 years, so it actually really excites me to give that back to them,” Arnold explained.

Travel Paso is now committing $50,000 to make it happen.

“This is actually going to be just a huge fireworks display very similar to Cayucos and Pismo Beach,” Arnold explained.

The estimated total cost of the event including labor, materials, and equipment is $110,000.

It's proposed that the remaining $60,000 would come from the city’s general funds.

“Pyro Spectaculars is online to do the show for us,” Berman explained. “They do shows throughout the world, and we're just really excited to present a first-class fireworks celebration.”

If approved, it’s believed the event could draw in thousands of people from all over San Luis Obispo County and beyond, being a big boost to the economy.

“July 4th is on a Monday, so it gives everybody the opportunity to come to Paso for the weekend, stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, go to our wineries and distilleries,and just have a great, great time,” Berman said.

The fireworks show would be a free event.

We will have an updated story and more information on this event following Tuesday’s city council meeting.