February 2020 Director’s Message: Event Updates

February – the month for sweethearts.  I have found that a good partner always makes life easier, which is definitely true in my case.  I hope you have a great Valentine’s Day.  As I write this we are in the midst of some significant tidal activity, which makes for high quality surfing on our local beaches but also puts pressure on our Harbor infrastructure.  Make sure you keep all of your vessels and in-water structures tight and secured during the winter season.

It is a slow time of year in the Harbor, and there is more happening outside of the Harbor than in the Harbor.  The Super Bowl was last Sunday, which is always a fun and festive day.  My Green Bay Packers did not make it to the big dance, but at least the game was entertaining.  On a sad note, our hearts go out to the family of Kobe Bryant.  Most of us in Southern California felt his presence over the last two-plus decades, and felt the tremendous sorrow of the tragic passing of those on that flight, including Kobe and his daughter.  Our thoughts and prayers for his family.

Harbor Event Updates

We are currently in the process of planning for a number of big events this year.  We have already chosen the theme for the 2020 Holiday of Lights Parade, which will be “Jingle Jungle.”  In addition, we will be a co-host of the 2020 Annual Celebration of the Whales Festival, which will be held on March 22 – mark your calendars.  We will also welcome back the Father’s Day Car Show on June 21.

Fireworks by the Sea in Jeopardy

Finally, we have begun preparations for the Fourth of July festivities.  As you may recall, the City of Oxnard was forced to halt its financial support of the Fourth of July events last year due to budgetary issues.  Historically, the City has covered the cost of overtime for the Oxnard Police staff used for traffic control and paid for 50% of the firework show.  This totals $42,500, of which the $12,500 for the fireworks was covered by the Harbor Department last year and the $30,000 for Police overtime was covered by the cannabis industry in Port Hueneme.  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.  As a result, we are seeking funding for the Fourth of July festivities for the summer.  Last year, I received many offers to assist, and was told by a number of residents that if there was a mechanism to assist, they would.

The Harbor Lessee Association has stepped up to assist, and has established a Go Fund Me page to donate to the Fourth of July.  Please click on this link if you would like to donate.  If we cannot raise the funds previously provided by the City of Oxnard, we will be forced to cancel the fireworks.  This needs to happen fast, as we need to make a commitment for the fireworks in about six weeks, so help if you can and spread the word.

As always, live every day to the fullest.

Mark Sandoval, Harbor Director
Ventura County Harbor Department

Editor’s Note: this message was published on February 6, 2020.