Elsewhere online
June 29, 2016

Corporate Backing Runs Dry for Boston's Iconic July 4 Party

The Boston philanthropist who has shaped and sustained the city's Fourth of July celebration has been unable to find new corporate sponsors, casting doubt on the future of one of New England's signature events, writes The Boston Globe. This year's concert and fireworks display will be the 43rd and last headed by David Mugar, a supermarket heir and property mogul who has put about $20 million and 40,000 hours into the event over the years.

Mr. Mugar, 77, is retiring from Boston 4 Celebrations, the nonprofit that produces the extravaganza that annually draws hundreds of thousands of revelers to Boston's riverfront Esplanade. The event skyrocketed in popularity after Mr. Mugar added a climactic Boston Pops performance of the "1812 Overture" in 1974 and was long a staple on national television.

For decades it has been underwritten by corporate backers, most recently financial firm Liberty Mutual, whose 11-year sponsorship ended last year. Since then Mr. Mugar has approached nearly 1,000 companies across the Northeast but found no takers and is sponsoring this year's show himself. “As for the future, I really don’t know,” he said. “I can’t believe that things won’t work out, but I can’t really answer you.”