Planning suspended for July 4 festival in Tempe
Organizers hope that a smaller celebration will still be possible
Tempe, AZ – The Kiwanis Club of Tempe and the City of Tempe have agreed to suspend planning efforts for the popular annual July 4th Tempe Town Lake Festival because of uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Longtime business sponsors understandably have not been able to commit during uncertain financial times, and it remains unclear whether public health guidelines about gathering in groups will be lifted by July.
For the last 68 years, the Kiwanis Club of Tempe has organized the celebration, which has been one of the most well-attended July 4th gatherings in Arizona, attracting an estimated 100,000 people in Tempe Beach Park and around the perimeter of Tempe Town Lake. Its 35-minute fireworks display is a signature part of the annual party. The Kiwanis Club donates proceeds from ticket and food sales to local charities devoted to programs for children.
The city provides in-kind support to make the event possible, including public safety services, solid waste cleanup and more.
An alternative event, if it can happen with safety in mind, will be considered. The final decision will be announced in the coming weeks, based on the latest state and national safety guidance about gathering in groups.
While it is disappointing to think of a year without fireworks at Town Lake, Mayor Mark Mitchell said it is one of many sacrifices that community members are making right now.
“Safety is everyone’s first priority and I am grateful that our community is taking stay-at-home orders very seriously,” Mitchell said. “The city and the Kiwanis Club of Tempe have a solid and longstanding partnership and, without a doubt, we will be back in full force next year to truly celebrate our independence.”
For event questions, contact: Kiwanis Club of Tempe
Media contact: Nikki Ripley, City of Tempe, 480-313-8850