After sequestration threat, DC celebrates Fourth of July holiday with fireworks

Following a threat from sequestration, Washington-area residents and visitors jammed the Mall Thursday evening for an annual fireworks display that was less expensive than recent years’ exhibits.

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Earlier this year, the National Park Service’s annual display was threatened by the $85 billion in across-the-board federal spending cuts.

“It’s a signature moment. People love to come,” U.S. Park Service ranger Carol Johnson told Washington’s News4 in late April. “It’s a big event.”

Johnson said the Park Service would implement hiring freezes, delay maintenance and make other changes to be sure the fireworks took place. “There is good news. The fireworks … will go on as scheduled,” she said.

The firm that produced the 2012 display, Tennessee-based Pyro Shows Inc., reportedly estimated that the 17-minute show last year would cost more than $250,000.

In May, the National Park Service signed a $221,000 contract with a New Jersey firm for the 2013 fireworks on the National Mall.

Sequestration did have a major impact on displays at military bases, however.

According to Time, Hawaii’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, South Carolina’s Shaw Air Force Base, New Jersey’s Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island all had to cancel their firework displays this year.

Texas’s Fort Hood managed to salvage its fireworks from dipping into profits earned from its recycling center, the magazine reported.

--Meghashyam Mali contributed.