Sequester cancels Great Lakes fireworks - New York News

Sequester cancels Great Lakes fireworks

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

In lieu of fireworks...

"We went on the golf course and played 18 holes of golf and now we're going to go and go home and barbecue," said Gary Stutland.

Stutland spent the day at Willow Glen Golf Course after the annual 4th of July Celebration at Naval Station Great Lakes was canceled due to steep mandatory budget cuts, known as the sequester.

"I'm saddened by it, I think people look forward to coming and July 4th is a festive holiday and not being able to see something very traditional, it's, I'm sure a lot of people are disappointed," said Stutland.

In years' past the two day event was filled with fireworks, live music, movies, a Kid Zone, carnival rides and paintball activities. A far cry from the empty base this Independence Day.

"Last year it was really big, there were a whole bunch of fireworks, everything, so I guess they're trying to just figure out where to go… We're just about to go to the city to see if there's some fireworks over there," said Carolyn Serrano.

We spotted droves of naval service members en route to catch the train to Chicago.

"I just heard about it on the ship, they were like the fireworks show is not going to be happening tomorrow so I guess we're going to Chicago," said Ronald Eastman.

"They have a lot of events going on at one of the fields but there's going to be no fireworks," said Cameron Fernandez.

On Facebook, Debbie Bishop-Gabriel said, "Very sad that it was canceled this year... that is just wrong," and Gretchen Graepp Hasket posted, "Just found out yesterday that it was canceled. Not sure what our plans are now."

Naval Station Great Lakes Commanding Officer Captain Randall Lynch, said, "It is unfortunate that we must cancel the event this year. It is definitely a fantastic opportunity for the Navy and the Installation to give back to the community for all they do for us each year. Hopefully budgets will allow for the event to take place in 2014 and subsequent years."

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