JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- For 26 years, the Jacksonvillle Light Parade has been delighting audiences, but this year could be different.
Michael Chambliss is part of a fundraising committee that took over the event in 2011, when Mayor Alvin Brown cut it from the budget. Brown said at the time that public-private partnerships would ease the burden on taxpayers.
But this year, time isn't on the committee's side when it comes to raising money.
This year, the battle over the city's fiscal budget went to the October 1 deadline. Chambliss says the committee didn't know if the $60,000 needed to fund the event would be included in the budget, until the Mayor's office released event information two weeks later.
Now, the commitee has only 14 days left to meet its goal, and it is still $20,000 short.
"It's tough to raise $60,000 in seven or eight weeks," said Chambliss. "That puts us in a bad position to go out and have to raise about $10,000 a week in order for this event to happen."
Chambliss says parts of the show - -like the well-known fireworks display -- could be cut, if the money's not found.
"If not, then we've got to go back to the drawing board and see what has to be scaled back."
David DeCamp, a spokesman for the mayor's office, says the Jacksonville Light Parade was listed as a public-private partnership event in all of the Mayor's budget proposals dating back to May 2012. To his knowledge, the event was never debated by city council during budget discussions.
"Our position has been clear for a number of months. We support the parade, but we also need to protect the taxpayers of the city."
Chambliss says the deadline to raise the additional funds is November 16.
The committee is hoping to have 100 boaters take part. Chambliss says a registration fee is not being considered to help pay for the event, because boaters already pay the high cost of decorating their boats for the parade.
The 2012 Jacksonville Light Parade is scheduled for Saturday, November 24, along the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville.
For more information on sponsorships and registration, visit www.makeascenedowntown.com.