Jumpin’ Jack’s owner on fireworks cancellation: ‘my hands are tied’

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Many are bummed that Jumpin’ Jacks will not have fireworks at their annual Fourth of July event this year.

The owner, Mark Lansing, said the fireworks had become a tradition. However, his hands are tied.

“I don’t know where to place my feelings. It’s all still pretty fresh. I’m bummed it’s not happening, but if it’s not under my control, I can only be so mad and move on,” he said.

When news broke that the Village of Scotia decided not to have fireworks this year because of a lack of resources, residents were upset.

“It’s sad. It’s going to break a lot of traditions for the big holiday,” Meghann Pickett said.

“We were really looking forward to it,” said Maureen Boniewski, who’s been going to the firework show since she was a kid.

“It’s fun. You listen to the music, watch the ski show, and watch the fireworks,” Kris Pangburn said. She’s taken her nieces and nephews several times.

Since 1976, Jumpin’ Jacks has put on a show — fireworks, a concert and a water ski show. It attracts thousands of people.

The water ski show and the concert will still go as planned this year on June 30.

“I’m bummed it’s not happening, but if it’s not under my control, I can only be so mad and move on.”

Mark Lansing, Jumpin’ Jacks Owner

Lansing said for the last 12 years to 15 years, he’s paid for police and EMS to work overtime and keep everyone safe. Lansing loses money by putting on the big event, but he sees it as an investment in their future.

“Our hope is always to break even just from the costs of the police bill and fireworks, which is in the ballpark of $40,000. We’ve never really gotten close to that,” Lansing said.

That’s why Lansing asked the village to help with some of the costs this year. Now, Scotia officials said there are not enough resources to ensure safety.

Residents say they can understand that safety comes first.

“With the police shortage and safety first, it’s the world we live in now,” Pickett said.

“It’s costly. There’s no doubt about it,” Boniewski said. “I think the Village of Scotia should be able to help.”

“It’s good to be involved, but if the guy can’t afford it, you can’t afford it,” Ray Jankowski said, another Capital Region resident.

Lansing said he does not blame the village for its decision.

“If you can’t guarantee the safety of those people, then you have to take a look at what you’re doing,” he said. “I can’t speak to where they’re at as far as what resources they’ve got, but I have to respect the fact that safety is safety. That’s number one.”

Lansing said there’s a silver lining — try to learn from this and ensure it doesn’t happen again.