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Edmonds' July 4 festivities canceled for 2020

Chamber of Commerce seeking donations to help bring events to city

 
Series: Coronavirus | Story 153

Last updated 5/7/2020 at 10:50am

Brian Soergel

Spectators gather for the Edmonds Kind of Fourth parade in 2019.

A summer without the July 4th parades and fireworks show?

That's the coronavirus pandemic reality for 2020, as Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Greg Urban announced today that An Edmonds Kind of Fourth activities are canceled for 2020.

It's the first time that's happened in 75 years.

The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday, May 5, that its 4th of July celebration will be canceled for the first time since World War II. Due to the current coronavirus response and governor's phased reopening plan, it will not be possible for the estimated 18,000 Edmonds residents and participants to join in celebration of our Independence Day, said Greg Urban, President & CEO of the Edmonds Chamber.

"It pains us to announce the cancellation of our beloved 4th of July celebration," he said. "This community celebration has been a signature event for the Edmonds Chamber since 1907. It has always served as a point in time where we all connect, come together, and show pride in our city and nation. Many recall attending as a kid, bringing their own children and eventually their grandchildren to the parades and events."

The Chamber of Commerce, a community nonprofit organization, has produced the city's July 4th celebration since 1907, along with many of the events, including Taste Edmonds, the Classic Car Show, Halloween Trick-or-Treat, the Tree Lighting Ceremony and the Clam Chowder Cook-Off..

"Unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 situation and disruption of normal business operations for so many," said Urban, "along with the uncertain timeline for when full community commerce and events may return, An Edmonds Kind of Fourth may not be the only Edmonds Chamber event canceled in 2020."

Facing realities

The Edmonds Chamber is funded primarily in two ways. First, through annual memberships by local Edmonds businesses and some non-business "family" memberships. Second, through revenue generated at events like Taste Edmonds.

Taste Edmonds is the primary source of revenue each year for the Chamber. Money raised at that event allows the hosting of large free community events like the Fourth of July.

Urban said that many businesses, feeling the crush of either closing their doors at this time or operating with less revenue, have not been able to afford their membership dues, and membership revenues are expected to steeply decline in the coming months.

With the cancellation of the Fourth of July and potentially Taste Edmonds in August, the nonprofit will no longer have the necessary funds to maintain operations and keep the small staff of three going.

For the first time in the organization's 113 years, the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce is at risk of being no more.

The Chamber is a nonprofit organization that gives back to Edmonds in many ways, said Urban, not only through the community events it hosts but also through business advocacy and networking programs that are a valued resource to local business owners.

The Chamber also gives back to the community directly, channeling nearly $400,000 to local vendors and service providers, in addition to donations to other nonprofits such as the Boys & Girls Club, Edmonds-Woodway High School, Edmonds Lions Club, Edmonds Kiwanis, and many others.

"The Edmonds Chamber has been a longtime supporter of Edmonds-Woodway High School with the annual Waste Warriors effort at Taste Edmonds," said Kelsey Foster, 2020 graduation party co-chair.

"The students and parents volunteer for three days of hard work, picking up trash and in return, receive a donation to help fund the safe and sober graduation party. Possibly losing one of the biggest fundraisers for next year's Class of 2021 graduation party will be tough to recover from."

Asking for support

For the first time in its history, the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce is reaching out to the community and individual residents to ask for help.

You can support the Chamber by joining the Edmonds Chamber as a non-business/individual member.

"Your membership helps ensure the future of our large community events and beloved annual traditions by keeping the Edmonds Chamber in place," said Urban. "Your dog can even become a member – to date, we have two canine members."

The cost for an annual individual membership is $125. It can be paid annually, quarterly, or monthly.

You can also support the Edmonds Chamber, you can make a direct donation of support at the Edmonds Chamber website.

"The Edmonds Chamber has been serving our great community since 1907," said Urban. "Now is a time that we need your help so we can continue to serve you. Thank you for your support."

For more information: http://www.edmondschamber.com.

 

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