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Rhythm and Booms organizers propose fireworks-only event

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:46:52 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 25 2013 11:55:25 AM CST

MADISON, Wis. -

The organizers of Madison's Rhythm and Booms fireworks celebration are proposing to scale it back again this year.

However, that still doesn't satisfy some neighbors who want the event to end.

The city's contract is up, and Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and north side alders said they'd rely on input from neighbors before making a decision on the event's future.

The Madison Fireworks Fund, the group that runs the show, is proposing scaling it back to a fireworks-only show this year to win the favor of the city.

It's a huge show every year, but some neighbors said it's just a huge hassle.

"I consider, every year, Rhythm and Booms day to be the worst day of the year," said Nancy Deer. "I hate living in the neighborhood on that day because of the fireworks."

Catherine Davis said she supports the show.

"The thing about Rhythm and Booms is that it makes Madison a drivable destination. How many times are we going to Chicago, are we going to Milwaukee, are we going to Green Bay for an event?" Davis said.

Neighbors were evenly split at a public meeting Thursday night. There are also environmental concerns.

The city is paying for a study on the effects of the fireworks on the Warner Park lagoon. It isn't complete yet, but some said they already know harmful shells and plastic are falling into the water.

Also at issue is the cost of the show. Last year, city administrators said the city paid $93,000 in expenses such as police overtime. If the mayor and alders were looking toward neighbors for advice on renewing the contract, they received a mixed bag. The mayor's spokeswoman did not offer a timeline for making a decision.

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