The news that the Inner Harbor's New Year's Eve fireworks could be canceled due to money woes certainly put a damper on the city's pre-holiday mood this week. But it seems that all hope is not lost. In the wake of media coverage warning of the annual celebration's demise, donations have started to roll in.
I just got off the phone with Tracy Baskerville at The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, the city organization responsible for producing the New Year's spectacle, who said some sizable pledges have come in over the last 24 hours that have made organizers more optimistic that they will be able to cover the minimum $75,000 costs involved in staging the celebration, which annually attracts about 100,000 revelers.
"By yesterday we had a little over $39,000 and then law firm, Kramon & Graham, pledged up to $25,000 but they won't know for sure what they can offer until next week," Baskerville said. [Ed note: After this blog was published, a representative from Kramon & Graham e-mailed stating that no commitment had yet been forged with Office of Promotion and the Arts.]
Baskerville also said word around the office is that Willard Hackerman of construction behemoth Whiting-Turner has vowed to donate as well.
"Things are looking promising," she allowed. "We haven't confirmed everything that's come in, and we're hoping to know more by next week, but I think we're more positive," she added.
Sponsorship had trickled in this year possibly due to lingering economic malaise especially stymying The Office of Promotion & the Arts, which relies on sponsors to fund all its events ranging from next month's monument lighting ceremony to July's Artscape.
The Office of Promotion & The Arts is still looking for sponsors. Interested parties can learn more here.