The Kiwanis Club of Clovis announced Friday that it has cancelled the annual Freedom Fest, a Fourth of July celebration and fireworks show.
“This year marks the 40th anniversary of this annual community event, and we are deeply saddened by the decision we have had to make to cancel Freedom Fest 2020,” said club President Larry Loucks in a statement. “This decision was not an easy one and will impact not only our community, but our vendors and our club.”
The popular event is a major fundraiser for various local programs, such as Boy Scouts, Special Olympics, Valley Children’s Hospital, college scholarships, bicycle donations for Title 1 schools and senior citizen programs.
“Based on the State of California guidelines for large gatherings, we knew the event would not happen in the same form as it has since 1980,” Loucks said. “The organization continued to explore alternative ways to provide an Independence Day firework show for the community. The problem was time. We simply ran out of it.”
The economic fallout of the cancelled event could total well over $1 million, the City of Clovis said.
“This is another huge hit to our local economy,” said Clovis Business Development Manager Shawn Miller in a statement.
Clovis Chamber of Commerce CEO Greg Newman added,” This is truly a community-wide event. It’s a great tradition that will be missed. There will be a big hole in our summer.”
The Kiwanis Club will begin planning for next year’s event on July 5.