The annual KaBoom! Fireworks on the Navesink summer extravaganza attracted well over 100,000 people each year for its July 3rd fireworks show, which organizers said was the largest in New Jersey and was one of the largest in the entire country.
When the KaBoom Committee announced Wednesday that the 2012 iteration of the more than 50 year tradition had been canceled, reactions were varied. Many mourned the loss of the event, even if it’s only temporary, while others thought the entire thing had grown too large and needed to be adjusted in at least some way.
Unfortunately, with KaBoom’s success came some problems. Not only did rowdy crowds cause some issues, but costs associated with the event outpaced even the number of attendees each year. In 2011 alone, the KaBoom! Committee racked up approximately $300,000 in fees. With KaBoom unable to fund the event entirely with donations and corporate sponsorships, Red Bank Council effectively canceled the event by saying the borough would not help float any of the bill. And thus, KaBoom 2012 was no more.
Still, the news does not mean that KaBoom! is gone the way of the dodo. Organizers want to bring it back, but acknowledge that the event could do with some adjustment. One goal of both the KaBoom! Committee and the borough is to see the event become a bit more intimate. The surging crowds, though well handled by police, put undue stress on the borough. Many have said they believe the event lost the family atmosphere it once had.
With no KaBoom! Fireworks on the Navesink apparently happening this year, Red Bank currently finds itself with a July activity void. There’s been talk of hosting some type of event this July 3rd, though officials don’t know what best fits.