Hey Long Branch, don’t be afraid, hold the July 4th fireworks (Opinion)
Have you ever heard of someone canceling a party because they're afraid too many people will show up?
That's what's happening in Long Branch where they're canceling the traditional July 4th fireworks because they're afraid of another pop-up TikTok party, similar to the one they had last week. Since when do we govern out of fear in New Jersey?
They say they're going to move them to a later date to be determined. Unless they promote that date like a secret Bruce appearance at the Stone Pony, they could run into the same problem, and now that they've done this they probably will.
Last Saturday's Pier Village crowd involved four arrests made for disorderly person offenses, according to Erin Vogt's article, which cited Long Branch Director of Public Safety Domingos Saldida, who also said that there were no known reports of damage or injuries stemming from the crowd.
So we're canceling the July 4th fireworks over 4 disorderly person arrests?
I would give credit to both the police presence that was there that night for great crowd control as well as those who crashed the party who it seems really weren't trying to cause trouble.
Imagine, how much better the police presence would be now that they know of the possibility and could prepare for it.
Let's talk about that possibility.
What's the possibility that people in that crowd or any possible crowd could have made other plans for one of the many July 4th celebrations that will be taking place all over New Jersey. For a list of those events see Bob Giaquinto's article here.
One of the reasons mentioned in a follow-up article by Dan Alexander was "Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden said another factor that makes some Jersey Shore towns attractive for social media parties is New Jersey's new marijuana law. It a potential third-degree crime to interrogate or ask questions of minors if they suspect drug or alcohol use."
Well if we're going to be afraid of a New Jersey law, then we have to do one of two things. Cancel everything or change the law. I, along with PBA president Pat Colligan vote for the latter.
As someone who's owned two businesses at the Jersey Shore, I can tell you it's hard enough to make money in the limited days you have in the summer.
It's not fair to both the business owners who depend on the extra income the fireworks bring as well as the people of Long Branch who look forward to the Fireworks celebration.
We shouldn't govern out of fear in New Jersey, that's not what we're about. With all the things being canceled in 2021, the Long Branch July 4th fireworks shouldn't be among them.