Why the military can't participate in 4th of July festivities - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Why the military can't participate in 4th of July festivities

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Sequester cuts within the government and military are changing the way Southport will plan its July 4th Festival. Sequester cuts within the government and military are changing the way Southport will plan its July 4th Festival.

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The largest Fourth of July Festival in the state won't look the same this year.

Sequester cuts within the government and military are changing the way Southport will plan its July 4th Festival.

Several military locations have already cancelled their 4th of July celebrations because of those cuts, including all military involvement at the annual festival in Southport.

That means there will be no marine band performance, no waterfront displays and no military parade floats.

Karen Sphar is the administrator for the 4th of July Planning Committee. She's faced with the difficulties of planning this year's event.

"They really want to support us but they just can't because of budgetary restraints," said Sphar. "I know people will be disappointed because we love to see our military and support them. The fourth of July is all about independence and the military is a huge part of that."

Local veterans area also don't like the idea. Harold Woodin represents a group of veterans in the Town of Oak Island.  He served four years in the Navy during the Vietnam war.

"The Fourth of July is important for our servicemen and our country," said Woodin. "I really think the government could find another way to cut some other places to allow servicemen to march with us."

But even without the military, organizers say the parade marches on.

"Things happen," said Sphar. "You have to move quickly and try to figure out ways to make it better."

With less military officials in the parade, representation now falls on veterans, JROTC members, and others who aren't under the government's jurisdiction.

The parade committee says they are still in the early stages of planning.

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