UPDATED: Fulop: Jersey City 4th of July celebration is on even if state shutdown occurs

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With the state government shutdown still ongoing, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has officially made the decision to move the city’s 4th of July celebration from Liberty State Park to Exchange Place.

Fireworks going off during last year's Freedom and Fireworks Festival in Liberty State Park. Photo courtesy of freedomandfireworks.com.
Fireworks going off during last year’s Freedom and Fireworks Festival in Liberty State Park. Photo courtesy of freedomandfireworks.com.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Update on our Jersey City 4th of July Festival, Concert and Carnival – I just made the decision in conjunction with our Police, FIre, OEM + Cultural Affairs that we will move our celebration to Exchange Place,” Fulop said in a Facebook post earlier tonight. ”

I’m not willing to risk waiting around for the state government to act.”

The mayor said yesterday that there is a backup plan ready to go for the city’s 4th of July celebration in the event of a worst case scenario where a state government shutdown closes Liberty State Park.

“Residents should know that whether NJ shuts down government or it doesn’t , our July 4th fireworks, carnival, food vendors, + Kool/The Gang concert is moving forward,” Fulop said in a Facebook post.

“It will be just as big. We plan ahead and we always have contingency plans in place. Nobody is stopping us! See you on the 4th of July. #jerseycity”

The mayor added that the backup location is at Exchange Place, where there is plenty of room for concerts, moving barges for fireworks and parking.

The event is headlined by Kool & and the Gang and is expected to draw a crowd of over 150,000.

The state legislature is at an impasse as the state Assembly is yet to approve the 2017-2018 budget, as Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) squares off with Gov. Chris Christie (R) over a bill that would restructure Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state’s largest health insurer.

Prieto has vowed to pass the budget without a vote on the Horizon bill, while Christie said the blame falls on the Assembly speaker if a government shutdown takes place.