Fourth of July is usually an exciting time in Longview. (Source: KLTV)
LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -
Since the City of Longview's $16,000 cancellation of Ted Nugent's Fourth of July performance, a grassroots effort has begun to make the holiday a memorable one.
A one-page flyer has been circulating around Longview for two days; it's a citizens' cry to save the Fourth of July.
"Friday, Mayor Jay Dean called me and asked how they could help put together a group raise the money to pay the city back, and focus on the Fourth of July," says Longview Patriots volunteer John Greene.
In light of the Ted Nugent controversy, the Longview Patriots' effort is to put the celebration back into the event.
"A Fourth of July party should be an event ... didn't really want to have the overcast of a negative issue around such a great event," says Longview Regional hospital CEO Jim Kendrick.
"The Fourth of July is all about celebrating the country and the city of Longview. It is a huge thing for this area; thousands of people turn out," Greene says.
With the city $16,000 poorer, the idea was to get the public involved.
"The response has been good. This is totally a volunteer effort," says Greene.
"Anything we can do to foster events that support the whole community coming together and having a good time is something we want to be part of." Kendrick says.
The grass roots movement makes the event community-owned.
"Supporting an event that brings our community closer together... who wouldn't want to be a part of that?" asks Kendrick.
With no political agenda, the effort is sincere.
"We wanted to put the happy back in happy Fourth of July," Greene says.
In two days, the effort has already raised over $5,000.