Clovis, CA, June 15, 2021 – Today, the Kiwanis Club of Clovis announced the full cancellation of Freedom Fest, the valley’s premier Independence Day Celebration and Fireworks Show.
“This year marks the 41st anniversary of this annual community event, and we are deeply saddened and frustrated by the decision we have had to make to cancel Freedom Fest 2021,” said Eddie DeLeon, Clovis Kiwanis Freedom Fest Event Co-Chair. “This decision was not an easy one and will impact not only our community, but our vendors and our club.”
Freedom Fest is a major fundraiser which supports numerous local programs including Boy Scouts, Special Olympics, Valley Children’s Hospital, college scholarships, bicycle donations for Title 1 schools, senior citizen programs, and much more.
“Due to the restrictions for large gatherings, we knew the event would not happen in the same form as it has in years past,” explained DeLeon, but 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.”
“Although Governor Newsom announced that the State’s colored Tier System would be eliminated on June 15, we didn’t know if there would be other restrictions that we would have to address,” said Bruce Wilson, Freedom Fest Co-Chair, “we waited as long as we could before officially pulling the plug.” It generally takes at least 30 days to order the fireworks, complete the permitting process, line up vendors, organize the use of the facility, and everything else that goes into producing an event of this scale. “If June 15 wasn’t so close to July 4, this story may have had a better ending,” Wilson added.
Freedom Fest became a tradition in the valley four decades ago, but the tradition of pyrotechnic displays date back to 1777 during the first anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Following the wishes of John Adams that the anniversary of independence would be marked for years to come by “guns” and “bonfires” and “illuminations”, the July 4th institution has been maintained for 244 years.
The City of Clovis estimates the economic impact of Freedom Fest to be well over one million dollars. “This is another huge hit to our local economy,” said Shawn Miller, Clovis’ Business Development Manager.
“This is truly a community-wide event,” explained Greg Newman, CEO of the Clovis Chamber of Commerce. “It’s a great tradition that will be missed. There will be a big hole in our summer.”
Plans for Freedom Fest 2022 have already begun.
Are you are a vendor? Do you have a club? Do you want to work with the community? Do you want to help sponsor one of the biggest events in the central valley?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, we want to talk to you. Please call Bruce at (559) 645-6555