Sedalia Chamber Steps Away from 4th of July Fireworks Celebration
The Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce will no longer host the annual 4th of July Fireworks Celebration at the Missouri State Fairgrounds.
In an annual report to the Sedalia City Council Monday night, Sedalia Area Chamber Executive Director Angie Thomas said that local businesses who financed the event reported that they were not seeing a lot of value for their money.
The Blue Ribbon Vision Committee found that fewer businesses were willing to bankroll the event, which by Thomas' estimates amounts to upwards of $9,000. The cost of fireworks is around $7,500, the cost of a band is around $1,000 and the cost to rent the grandstand from the state is $200, which Thomas noted is a discounted rate. Add to that the cost of insurance and the event is no longer feasible for the Chamber to host.
“We're hoping somebody will step up and take that and run with it,” Thomas said. “It doesn't focus very well with our Chamber members and it's gotten harder and harder to get sponsorships.”
Thomas added that she hopes the traditional “free” event will continue, however. “It's something that a lot of our members didn't buy into. Sponsorships are what pays for the fireworks. So we had to make the decision to step aside and let somebosy else take that over, and we're hoping that they will, and if they need any help or coordination, we'd be happy to work with them,” Thomas concluded.
She added that the Chamber will focus more on professional development in 2018. That include areas such as customer service and leadership.
On the bright side, the Chamber will once again present its annual Christmas parade, scheduled this year for Saturday, Dec. 2 at 10 a.m. in downtown Sedalia. The theme this year is “Rockin' Round the Christmas Tree.” The Chamber has been hosting the Christmas parade in Sedalia since the 1940s.