Fireworks by the Sea, the only 4th of July seaside fireworks show in Ventura County, might have to be cancelled due to funding issues.
A fundraising effort is underway to cover half the cost of the show, estimated to be $42,500. The Channel Islands Harbor Lessees Association, a private, non-profit organization who represents Harbor businesses, is spearheading the efforts with a GoFundMe campaign. Click on this link to visit the GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/channel-islands-harbor-july-4th-fireworks
Historically, the City of Oxnard and the Ventura County Harbor Department split the cost of the fireworks display and each provided beneficial services. The City of Oxnard would provide traffic control and the Harbor Department would provide staff to clean the Harbor during and after the event.
Last year the City of Oxnard notified the Harbor Department that it could not pay its half of the fireworks display ($12,500) and asked the Harbor Department for $30,000 for police overtime. The Harbor Department covered the second half of the fireworks display and the cannabis industry in Port Hueneme paid for the cost of Oxnard Police Department staff overtime.
Harbor Department Director Mark Sandoval said the County can’t cover the cost of the entire event and help is needed from the community.
“Unfortunately, we cannot count on the donations received last year, and the budgetary situation of the Harbor Department is likely more severe than the City’s, as we are projected to lose nearly $1 million this fiscal year,” Sandoval said. “If we cannot raise the funds previously provided by the City of Oxnard, we will be forced to cancel the fireworks.”
Sandoval said the funds need to be raised by the end of March.
Editor’s Note: this story was published on February 7, 2020.