DUBLIN -- The free public fireworks show at the city's new Splatter wine, music and arts festival will go on at least another year.

The City Council last week voted 5-0 to stage the popular fireworks show at the end of the all-day festival Sept. 21 at Emerald Glen Park. City staffers earlier this year had raised the possibility of extinguishing the fireworks because they are costly -- about $25,000 -- and may overshadow the food, wine and participatory events.

Festival goers last year were invited to join in making paintings and sculptures and to sit in the back seat of a car to watch a short play staged by actors in the front seat. In their June 18 meeting, council members were emphatic: keep the fireworks at least for now.

"It's a finale that we can all appreciate," said Dublin Vice-Mayor Kevin Hart, who pushed to keep the pyrotechnics.

"I don't want the festival to be known for just the fireworks, but to be known as a great event and that Dublin did it right. When you use the metaphor of a car, let's do projects in which we're driving a Cadillac, not a VW."

Ann Mottola, the city's heritage and cultural arts manager, recommended sticking with the fireworks for at least this year. The alternatives are to stage a laser light show, a dance revue, or a music and acrobatic show similar to Cirque de Soleil.

But the laser light show requires intense advance planning for props and other amenities that would be needed, she wrote in a report. A dance or music production wouldn't draw as big an audience as fireworks, and it's difficult to book the groups who do high-quality acts, she said.

To defray some of the city costs, Mottola suggested the city may be able to secure private sponsors to underwrite some of the fireworks costs. At some time in the future, the city may wish to switch to a different type of finale, city administrators and Councilman Don Biddle said.

"Having fireworks may not be the thing to do forever," Biddle said. "Events can get stale without change."

Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff.

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