Chula Vista votes to bring back fireworks show

Posted at 5:20 PM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 23:07:28-05

The Chula Vista City Council decided Tuesday evening to bring its annual Fourth of July fireworks back to the city.

The city eliminated the annual display in 2008 during massive budget cuts at the height of the nation's economic downturn.

"It's being patriotic. It's part of your experience. It's part of a family," said Chula Vista resident Larissa Acosta, who told 10News she'd love to see the fireworks return.

"I remember those times only too clearly," said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas.

Salas was in the state Assembly in 2008, but she knew her hometown was struggling. At one point, layoffs led to the city having more volunteers than paid employees.

"It kind of took the joy out of city life," she said. "I have no doubt that the council will probably be in agreement that we do need this for our community."

Several people told 10News on social media the city needs to focus on more important agenda items like city infrastructure.

Salas agreed, but added a daylong Independence Day festival is important as well.

"The job of the city is to provide our residents a wonderful place to live and part of that is having community events," she argued.

"I think it's still important to a community. I think it brings communities together. It brings families together," said Acosta. "I think it would be an awesome experience to be able to go to your hometown and see fireworks."

Salas said just having the discussion was a sign Chula Vista is on the upswing.

"But we still have to remain cautious," she warned. "I think that we all need to have lessons learned from the past."

Salas said the city would pay for the event primarily through sponsorships and in-kind employee work.

She estimated it would still cost the city roughly $20,000.

This year's fireworks show will take place at the Olympic Training Center.