On February 15th we posted a #breakingnews post telling everyone that the Ripon Chamber Foundation announced
Tamra Spade, Executive Director of the Ripon Chamber of Commerce jumped on the post and explained that the funding was there, but the volunteer support was not.
“I appreciate everyone’s comments. It was very disappointing that we had to give up the 4th of July event this year. I want everyone to know, the fund-raising was not the problem, everyone in the city (Ripon) has been so generous when it came to giving to this event. The problem we ran into was getting volunteers to help set up, oversee and clean up. It also took a lot of resources from the police and fire departments. The Chamber took on the event last year, but with only 2 full time employees and one part time, we couldn’t do it all. This is an event that is done for the community, we would need at least 50 volunteers to step up for set up, parking and clean up.”
Spade joined the Ripon Chamber of Commerce in June of 2012 and has been a huge asset to the Chamber, the events it puts on, and our community. She has successfully run several Almond Blossom Festivals, ABF runs, Taste of Ripon events, Main Street Days, and has brought forth several other fundraisers to raise funds for the Foundation.
Many people from the community also raised the concern that it should be brought back to the school. Ripon Fire Chief Dennis Bitters has repeatedly expressed his concern for the fire threat those fireworks posed to all of the buildings around Ripon High School and the houses surrounding downtown. Chief Bitters had to staff each building with a firefighter on top to make sure nothing caught on fire. It was for safety reasons that it had to be moved to Mistlin.
On March 14th, almost exactly one month from the previous announcement, Tamra Spade, and the Ripon Chamber Foundation announced that they will be able to bring the show back once again!
“The Ripon Chamber Foundation, partnering with the City of Ripon and the Ripon Consolidated Fire Department will be bringing the fireworks back to Mistlin again this year. We received overwhelming disappointment when the event was canceled. One important call that changed my mind,” Spade said, “was a call from Sarah Brawley offering to help by getting volunteers to help out and Mistlin Sports Park during the show and after for cleanup.” She continued, “To make sure families in Ripon were able to see the fireworks without having to travel, we decided to move forward with just doing the fireworks, but will not be bringing back the additional activities that were there last year.”