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Star Spangled Spectacular Likely Provided Huge Economic Boost

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Taking stock of a bicentennial celebration. The Star-Spangled Spectacular is officially over.

Alex DeMetrick reports on how well it did generating visitors and money.

Even though the fireworks have dissolved, the crowds at the Inner Harbor haven’t. For a Monday in mid-September, visitors still here are a bonus.

“Yeah, the crowds today. It’s hardly over,” said Bill Pencek. “I’m shocked.”

Pencek—with Maryland’s Department of Business and Economic Development—now waits to see how the Star Spangled Spectacular, with all the events tied to it, paid off.

“To see everyone happy, smiling. Weather’s nice,” said one woman.

Until rain on Saturday. It may have dampened the turnout, but when it stopped, crowds roared back to a Pier Six concert and the largest fireworks show in Baltimore history. It’s too early for exact numbers for the bicentennial.

“We hope we are going to be pinning our success to our measurements back in 2012,” Pencek said.

That would mean equaling the one million visitors for 2012’s Sailabration spending $166 million, generating $7 million in tax revenues. But it could climb higher.

“This only happens once every 200 years so it would not surprise me if analysts find it closer to $250 million or a quarter billion dollars,” said Anirban Basu, an economist with Sage Policy Group.

Before eventually settling on any profit, expenses must be added in. State and private funds invested over $5 million and Baltimore City contributed $2 million for police, services and overtime.

“But at the end of the day, it’s worth it,” Basu said.

“Baltimore really needs to shine here and I think it is shining,” said one resident.

It will take analysts a couple of months yet to come up with final figures for the Star Spangled Spectacular.

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