A GoFundMe campaign launched to help save the Channel Islands Harbor’s Fireworks by the Sea, the only 4th of July seaside fireworks show in Ventura County, is falling short.

The campaign is intended to cover half the cost of the show, estimated to be $42,500. Launched on February 6, 2019 by the Channel Islands Harbor Lessees Association, the fundraiser has raised $3,527 so far (as of February 20,2020). The Lessees Association, a private, non-profit organization who represents Harbor businesses, is spearheading the efforts. Click on this link to visit the GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/channel-islands-harbor-july-4th-fireworks

Ventura County Harbor Department Director Mark Sandoval said if the funds aren’t raised by the end of March, the show will be cancelled.

“We are appreciative of the people who have stepped up so far to save the show,” Director Sandoval said. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t come close to covering the cost.”

Funding Issues

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 portable restrooms, extra bins for waste, and 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 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.”

Editor’s Note: this story was published on February 21, 2020.