There will be a Fourth of July event in San Ramon this year, but it won't feature any fireworks.
The San Ramon City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday night to approve a new schedule for the Fourth of July in Central Park. It will not include any fireworks, which has been a staple of San Ramon's Fourth of July celebration for more than 25 years.
"You don't want to be part of the council that killed the Fourth of July fireworks," councilman Scott Perkins said. "But public safety must come first."
As it's been the only such show in the area, attendance at San Ramon's event has outgrown the city's resources, council members said.
The new event — called "Celebrate America, Celebrate San Ramon" — will start at 6 p.m. and go until 9 p.m. The city wants a patriotic feel, with the park decorated with flags and streamers. There will be live music by bands possibly including the San Ramon Symphonic Band. The city also wants to be part of the event.
The council also asked a policy committee to look into the sale of "safe and sane" fireworks. Councilman Dave Hudson said he would not approve any Fourth of July program unless the city seriously considers allowing the sale of safe fireworks.
The council came one vote away from not having any Fourth of July event this year.
Councilman Jim Livingstone put forward a motion to put the event on hold for a year, so the city could study the best way to have a safe event in the future. Councilman Phil O'Loane agreed, but the other three councilmembers voted no.
City staff presented an alternative firework plan to allow fireworks that wouldn't go higher than 100 feet in the air. But Mayor Bill Clarkson was the only one in favor of the idea. The other members of the council were concerned it could send a mix message to neighboring communities, which could result in too many people attending the event.