When news broke that the at the Dixon May Fair Grounds, the phones began to ring for members of the Dixon Rotary Club.
People wanted to know if the fireworks show they put on each Fourth of July was still on this year. There’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that the fireworks show is a mere $1,000 away from happening this year, an amount that Dixon Rotarian Sandee George said she feels comfortable will make its way to the club.
The bad? The fireworks show is in danger of not happening next year.
George met with the person who will be lighting the fireworks Monday afternoon and everything is in place for the celebration to take place this year. Next year could be different if funds don’t start coming in.
“We just need money,” George said.
For over 22 years, the Dixon Rotary Club has subsidized the fireworks show as a way to bring the community together and celebrate the Fourth of July. A large part of the funding for the show, about $5,000 came from the Dixon Redevelopment Agency.
But when the last year, the RDA funds stopped coming to the Rotary Club as well as other service and business groups that relied on the money for various events. It was with those funds that the Rotary Club was able to subsidize the event that costs between $11,000 and $12,500 each year to put on according to George.
“This is the second year we didn’t get Redevelopment funds that was basically our deposit each year,” she said.
Dixon's Economic Development Director Mark Heckey said the loss of Redevelopment funds has affected a wide variety of projects within Dixon and other service clubs and events such as Lambtown U.S.A., the DDBA's Christmas Tree Lighting Event, the Dixon Chamber's May Fair Parade.
"The notion was it was stimulate the economy in the downtown area," said Hecky, explaining the reasoning behind the RDA funds going to the service clubs. "As people come in to the attraction or the event they would be prone to spend money in the downtown (area)."
Aside from the money received from the Redevelopment Agencies, the Rotarians relied on community donations to help put on the show as well a pancake breakfast it puts on each year to kick off the
“Right now, the donations aren’t coming in as they used to,” George said. “I think a lot of people don’t have a lot of money to donate anything. We are still getting donations from a lot of the same people as we have in the past but they're not as large.”
George said the Rotarians need $5,000 to put a deposit on next year’s celebration and welcomes donations. Every little bit helps, she said.
Asked how well people would react if there were no Fourth of July Fireworks Show in Dixon, George said: “I think people will be upset. People have fun; they take their families out there. It’s the beauty of Dixon. I think it would be awful.”
“If every household can donate $5 or any money, it’s all tax deductible,” she said. “If they send me a check, I can send them a receipt.”
Anyone interested in donating money to the fund can make a check payable to the Dixon Rotary Club, P.O. Box 181, Dixon CA 95620.
For more information contact Sandee George at (707) 494-2844.
How important is the Fourth of July Fireworks Show to Dixon?
Editor's Note: Story updated with comments from Dixon's Economic Development Director Mark Heckey.