Sugar House fireworks show will go on thanks to 5-year commitment from Apollo Burger

Published: Monday, April 14 2014 3:25 p.m. MDT

Thousands gather for the 4th of July fireworks at Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City on Saturday, July, 4, 2009. A local burger eatery has answered the annual question of how to fund Sugar House Park's Independence Day fireworks display.

Mike Terry, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — A local burger eatery has answered the annual question of how to fund Sugarhouse Park's Independence Day fireworks display.

Apollo Burger owner Michael Ziouras has pledged $25,000 to this year's show and said the company will be the presenting sponsor for five years.

Scott Workman, Sugar House fireworks event organizer, said he got the call from Apollo Burger late Friday as he was preparing to cancel the event. Organizers had announced that unless necessary funding came forward by the end of the week, either from sponsors or Salt Lake City, they wouldn't be able to put on the show.

"I honestly thought in my heart at that time that we were done," Workman said. "I was ecstatic."

Salt Lake City pulled funding from the show in 2009, prompting a push from community members, including Workman, to fund the 2010 show themselves.

Since then, it's become more difficult each year to find support, Workman said.

"This has happened at least twice, where we don't have the funds and we need a sponsor to step in and save it," he said. "This is an ongoing problem."

Apollo Burger's donation brings the fireworks fund up to $65,000, which Workman said is enough to provide the same level of entertainment spectators have seen in the past. The show draws at least 30,000 people each year, he said.

Workman, who has been involved with the show for five years, says he disagrees strongly with naysayers who call the pyrotechnics display "just entertainment."

"This Sugar House fireworks event is a celebration of the founding of our country," he said. "It's to teach us and our children about this wonderful country."

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com

Twitter: McKenzieRomero

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