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NY1 Exclusive: City Holding Back Permit for July 4 Fireworks on Coney Island

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TWC News: NY1 Exclusive: City Holding Back Permit for July 4 Fireworks on Coney Island
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NY1 has learned the city is holding back a permit that puts a Coney Island tradition in jeopardy, a dispute that's setting off a lot of fireworks.

The beach, the boardwalk and the rides are all part of Coney Island's daily offerings. Then, every Friday night during the season, there's a fireworks show.

"I love the fireworks," said one person in the area. "They're very exciting. Very beautiful to look at."

"They're every Friday night," said another. "At 9:30 every Friday night all summer long."

Fireworks this season start on Friday, June 17 and end the Friday before Labor Day, with, as of now, one exception: Friday, July 4. The city granted permits for every Friday night expect for Independence Day.

That news is not going over well with residents, visitors and businesses.

"People come to Coney Island on the Fourth of July, they expect there's going to be fireworks," said Michael Sarrel, the owner of Ruby's Bar and Grill. "It would really be a shame for the people if it didn't happen."

"Yeah, I'd think that'd be devastating for the area, actually," said one person in the neighborhood.

The Department of Parks and Recreation declined to comment on why it hasn't approved the July 4 permit, but the move comes after the city negotiated with Macy's to move the store's annual fireworks display back from the Hudson to the East River this year to accommodate revelers in Brooklyn and Queens.

Coney Island holidaygoers, though, still want their Friday night tradition.

"It's a tradition that people know for a long time," said one person in the neighborhood.

"A lot of people would be upset," said another. "They really will."

"It's not fair because it's two separate entities paying for each one," said a third.

Here, it's the Alliance for Coney Island, a group of businesses and community organizations that pay to light up the sky. They can't, though, without a permit.

"We're hoping that the new administration will respond to the needs of a community that's still reeling 18 months since the storm that really needs events like this to bring people together," said City Councilman Mark Treyger of Brooklyn.

Sources say if the Friday night permit is denied, they'll request a Saturday, July 5 one instead, but they prefer to keep the Friday evening tradition intact.

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