The annual Fireworks by the Sea Fourth of July fireworks show at the Channel Islands Harbor will not take place this year.
The funding for the fireworks show and related police costs was in question due to the elimination of the City of Oxnard funding which covered roughly half the cost of the show, an action taken by the City due to budgetary challenges.
As a result, a GoFundMe campaign was launched by the Channel Islands Harbor Lessees Association to help fund the event. The campaign was intended to cover the half of the total event costs not covered by the Ventura County Harbor Department, estimated to be $42,500. To date, approximately $5,000 had been pledged through the GoFundMe campaign, and a City carryover totaling about $14,400 from the 2019 show was identified to support the fireworks show and related events this summer.
There were high hopes that the fundraising efforts could bridge the gap of about $23,000 in the next month or so as summer approached, but those hopes have been dashed with the onset and steady worsening of the COVID-19 virus. While there is a chance that the virus will be gone by the summer, it is a certainty that it will leave a significant economic problem in its wake. Businesses and individuals will suffer financially, and the Harbor Department, whose revenues are dependent on the revenues of Harbor businesses, will also feel the effect.
“Unfortunately, fundraising and planning for a festive event in the throes of this worldwide disaster is definitely not the right thing to do” said Mark Sandoval, Harbor Department Director. “We should all be focusing on what we can do to help our neighbors and neighboring businesses to survive during this frightening pandemic.”
“We are extremely appreciative of the community members, donors and businesses who have stepped up to help save the show,” Sandoval added.
Steve Kinney, who spearheaded the GoFundMe campaign on behalf of the Lessees Association, said the funding raised for the event will instead be donated to the Channel Islands Harbor Foundation. This Foundation uses the funds it collects to provide grants to youth organizations, which are used to introduce underprivileged youth to the Harbor and the recreation opportunities in the Harbor. Donors through the GoFundMe campaign can request a refund of the donation by contacting Steve Kinney at firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s Note: this story was published on March 19, 2020.