As preparations for Cambria’s July 4th celebration reach a fever pitch, there’s one sad note in the mix: Donations toward expenses are down.
Event donation master Terry Farrell of American Legion Post No. 432 (which sponsors the daylong event and fireworks), said in an email interview Monday, June 20, that donation levels so far this year appear to be down about 30 percent when compared with totals from this date in 2015, which in turn were down considerably from 2014.
For instance, last year’s donations in cans around town were down about 60 percent compared to the previous years — perhaps understandable then because the annual fireworks show was put on hiatus that year because of heightened fire danger from the drought.
The celebration continued, however.
Now, with all the permits and permissions in place, the 2016 fireworks show, always the dramatic conclusion to the daylong event, is set to go off at dusk Monday, July 4, over the sea near Shamel Park.
Donation cans are out all over town to help fund the $12,500 show from Pyro Spectaculars, along with the long list of other costs to run such a diverse event.
People can donate at Cookie Crock Market, service stations, Cambria Hardware, the Chamber of Commerce, Coffee Den and other locations, and Legion members hope people will dig deep and help pay for the event enjoyed by so many.
Donation checks also can be sent directly to the post’s Fireworks Fund at P.O. Box 697, Cambria CA 93428, or taken to the post’s club at the rear of the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St., after 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
Contributions from local merchants “continue to be generous,” Farrell said, “and we appreciate their generous support,” but even those donations are down this year by about 20 percent when compared to levels in 2013 and 2014.
Also, the advance income from raffle tickets is down by about 40 percent from last year at this time, Farrell said. Raffle tickets will be sold at the event, and members have tickets to sell now. Two of the top prizes for this year’s raffle include $1,000 in cash and an iPod.