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County Budget Cuts Silence July 4 Concert

Camden County's slashed budget means no free concert at Cooper River this year to mark Independence Day.

Cooper River Park won’t be rocking out to celebrate Independence Day this year, thanks to budget cuts. 

Tight finances forced the cancellation of the “Let Freedom Rock Fest” held annually to mark July 4. For the past decade, the county Freeholder Board held the event in conjunction with radio station 102.9 WMGK.

County Freehold Director Louis Cappelli Jr. urged residents to look on the bright side.

“In these economic times, it is a good opportunity for you and your family to attend the local celebrations in your community,” he said in a statement.

WMGK decided to move the rock concert, which will feature Yes and the Styx, to the Susquehanna Bank Center on the Camden waterfront. Unlike the Cooper River Park concert, it will not be free.

In a statement, radio station leaders expressed disappointment in the cancellation, saying that the county budget cuts couldn’t sustain producing a free show. The station could partner with Camden County in the future for the show, the statement added.

Other summer events—including outdoor movies, concerts, walks and runs, and kids’ shows—will continue throughout the county, Cappelli said. The summer events also feature the 20th Sunset Jazz Festival at Wiggins Waterfront Park in Camden and the Singer/Songwriter Series in Haddon Heights.

“Look for the Camden County Summer Events Guide in your mailbox late May and check camdencounty.com for other events for your family to enjoy,” Cappelli said.

BobG April 22, 2011 at 06:31 PM
Let's be glad this event lasted as long as it did. While the Cooper River Independence Day concert was always a good time with top-shelf headline acts, the crowd had grown so expansive over the past couple of years that I didn't bother going anymore (and I live a bike-share ride away.) I'm sure it would have been pretty hard for the Freeholders to justify the cost of this free concert in the midst of the local and county-wide layoffs of public employees.

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