Budget woes cut orchestra from Cabrillo Beach Fourth of July show

SAN PEDRO — City of Los Angeles budget woes will silence the live orchestra at the annual Fourth of July celebration at San Pedro's Cabrillo Beach, it was reported today.

But there will be fireworks.

"We're dealing with some pretty austere times in the city,'' Gary Dwight, president of the Cabrillo Beach Boosters told the Daily Breeze.

The city's budget crisis won't allow for live music provided on the beach for the past several years by the Golden State Pops Orchestra. Fee waivers granted by the city of Los Angeles in past years won't be forthcoming for 2010.

The $80,000 worth of Fourth of July pyrotechnics is not in jeopardy, however. "We're excited to just have kept the fireworks going for 60 years,'' said Dwight.

Organizers are weighing the possibility of piping in prerecorded music from loudspeakers onto the beach, Dwight told the Daily Breeze. Before the orchestra was added, the fireworks were shot from a floating barge with no musical accompaniment.

"This would be the first time we'd try recording if it's possible to have it piped out to the beach,'' he said. The event is free and draws anywhere between 30,000 to 40,000 people.

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn said she's asked the Port of Los Angeles to consider providing more funding to help cover the orchestra cost.

Orchestra conductor Steven Allen Fox told the Daily Breeze that audience and orchestra members alike will be disappointed when they learn that this year's show on the beach won't include live music.

"I personally feel in the state our society is now -- economically and with all the different things going on -- that it's more important for us to pull together and celebrate what is America on the Fourth of July,'' Fox told the newspaper.

"I completely understand that the economy is not good. But there's a part of me who, as a citizen, wonders whether the Fourth of July is really the time to make a cutback like this.''