Under the Hat: Roar to a Boom - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Under the Hat: Roar to a Boom

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Can a roar lead to a boom?

That's the hope for the organizers of Roar on the Shore, the summer downtown motorcycle rally that has grown by bounds in recent years.

If you haven't heard, those organizers announced this week that the charity of choice that will be supported by this summer's event will be the Erie Community Fireworks Fund.

And if you haven't heard about that, the Fireworks Fund has been set up in an attempt to bring back Boom over the Bay, the annual Fourth of July fireworks display that ended last year after funding dried up.

The hope is to create an endowment that will generate enough interest every year to pay for the fireworks.

It's not a cheap date.

Mayor Joe Sinnott estimates that the total price tag will be in the 80- to 90-thousand dollar range every year.

Still, Roar on the Shore raised some $300,000 last year so don't count them out, either.

Oh we've already heard the noise:

Why throw all that money up in the air and burn it? Aren't there better, more realistic things to do with a few hundred thousand dollars in these tight times?

Indeed it might seem a bit superficial at first.

In recent years the rally has supported cancer research for the John Kanzius Foundation and the memorial in Shanksville for the 9-11 heroes of Flight 93.

Fireworks? Really?

But hang on.

Not only do the fireworks draw thousands, they also, until last year anyway, provide a defining annual tradition of summer in Erie.

They remind us to enjoy the moment; to understand what it means to be American, to live in this region, to stop and take in a warm summer night, together as a community.

There's no doubt that budget constraints are assaulting our quality of life.

Here's a chance to generate the money to preserve an obviously popular tradition without using tax dollars.

Sounds like a big, booming win to me.

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