For the first time since 2006, Kiwanis Club of Delano will not hold fireworks show - The Bakersfield Californian

For the first time since 2006, the Kiwanis Club of Delano and the city of Delano will not have an outdoor fireworks show due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"This year has been

very difficult for our community, with cancellations of events and celebrations for the past few months has made our active city almost stand still while we wait for this pandemic to pass," said Delano City Councilman Joe Aguirre said June 23. "We need to acknowledge the sacrifice of all the hardworking residents and first-responders in our community for their essential work commitment to our city."

"Everyone should enjoy this fourth of July with family safely and support our local businesses," Aguirre added.

The Kiwanis Club of Delano began sponsoring the community fireworks show in 2006 after several years of the community not having the celebration, Kiwanis member Steve Kinsey said June 24. Originally sponsored by the Delano Volunteer Fire Department for many years, and then the Lions Club of Delano, the show went away, mostly due to finances.

"In bringing back the celebration, the Kiwanis club wanted to show its patriotism and allow the community to be a part of it. For many families it is the only fireworks they will enjoy, especially on a grand scale," Kinsey said. "It is an opportunity for the community to reflect on and celebrate all of the freedoms we enjoy in this country."

The cost of last year’s show was $15,000, with top sponsors including the city of Delano and Kern Valley State Prison.

The remainder was made up of smaller donations. All proceeds go toward the fireworks show or back to the community.

The cost of the show has increased from $6,500 in 2006 to $15,000 in 2019.

The city's donated amount comes from the City Council Budget for Community Promotions. Chapter 6.48 (Fireworks) of the Delano Municipal Code provides the city can reserve one fireworks permit to be awarded to a nonprofit organization that would contract with the city to provide a fireworks show for residents. Last April, the City received one proposal from the Kiwanis Club.

The Kiwanis Club has a demonstrated track record in providing the annual fireworks show for the past 13 years.

The 2006 event was a partnership between the Delano Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis and was held at Lake Woollomes. The event included live music, vendors, games and activities, with the fireworks fired from the Friant-Kern canal bank out over the water. About 4,000-plus people attended the park with many more in the surrounding areas.

The 2007 event was also held at Lake Woollomes with similar results, but fewer inside the park and more on the outside. In 2008, the event was moved to Memorial Park and included a barbecue dinner with special viewing for participants. The 2009 to 2011 events at Memorial Park included food booths, live music, games and activities for the family. Included were watermelon eating contests, bingo and sack races. Fireworks followed at dusk.

In 2012, the club moved to having just the fireworks show fired from Delano Airport. Some vendors provided food and drinks to the public, with a special viewing section near the north end of the airport. All proceeds from the parking admission were donated to youth organizations that staffed the gate. The shows have continued in this manner ever since.

"Kiwanis hopes to continue the tradition of celebrating the 4th of July with a fireworks show next year, maybe even bringing back the 'Family Fun Days' activities with it," Kinsey said. "We hope the community will support that effort."

Despite no show this year, the Kiwanis Club encourages all Delano and surrounding residents to enjoy the holiday with family and friends. Please support the local organizations selling personal fireworks, and the sponsors for the community display.

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