WDBJ7 has learned that Roanoke's July 4th celebration is in real danger of being canceled this year.
It's been a tradition in Roanoke since 1976.
For many years, Music for Americans took place at Victory Stadium before moving over the River's Edge Sports Complex seven years ago.
The celebration includes a concert, children's games, followed by fireworks. It usually attracts between 25,000 and 30,000 people.
The Roanoke Times has sponsored the event since its inception.
Show Producer Jan Wilkins confirms to WDBJ 7 the Roanoke Times has pulled most of its funding for the event.
Carilion has agreed to sponsor part of Music for Americans but the show's producer says they still need another sponsor.
"For several months now, I've been seeking sponsors and learning of course the economy is tight and many people can't say I can do that right now," said Jan Wilkins.
Wilkins says they are short $12,000 and if they don't get more sponsors by next Wednesday, the concert will be canceled.
"Oh, it's very real. We're about five days away from it being very real," said Wilkins.
Many Roanokers can't imagine life without a July Fourth Concert.
"That would be awful, that really upsets me," said G.G. White.
"Every community needs a July 4th celebration and it'd be a shame for us to lose ours," said Tucker Frye.
"That would be a terrible thing. A lot of people look forward to it every year," said Rupert Saunders.
The fireworks would still happen. WDBJ-TV, the Roanoke Times, and Kroger have agreed to pay for the fireworks display.
If there are only fireworks, the City of Roanoke says it won't provide shuttle buses to the event.
If you are interested in being a sponsor, you can call Jan Wilkins at 345-4030.
Here is the statement from the Roanoke Times:
Over the past several months The Roanoke Times has been working behind the scenes with the City of Roanoke and two co-sponsors - Kroger and WDBJ7 - on plans to continue to provide a July 4 fireworks display for the Roanoke metro area.
At the same time, The Roanoke Times decided the cost and complexity of the musical performance was no longer feasible to continue. The delay in announcing this was to allow Jan Wilkins Enterprises, Inc., the company paid to produce the concert, and the City of Roanoke time to make plans under the new arrangement.
“We are pleased and excited to continue bringing Fourth of July fireworks to the community. Our partners in doing this-Kroger and WDBJ7-are on board with us to provide a fireworks program at the same level as in the past,” said Debbie Meade, president and publisher of The Roanoke Times. “It's regarded as the biggest and best fireworks display in the region and is viewed by tens of thousands of people, not only those who come to Rivers Edge but from other vantage points throughout the city. We have heard for years that the fireworks are the main attraction. That’s why we are so pleased to continue bringing the show to the Valley.”
You can also click here to read the Roanoke Times' statement.