Kona July Fourth event in need of more funds


By CHELSEA JENSEN

Stephens Media

There’s less than a month remaining until Independence Day festivities kick off in Kailua-Kona, culminating with a community parade and fireworks display over Kailua Bay.

However, the Kailua-Kona Community Parade Association, the group that makes it all possible, still needs to raise about $5,000 to put on its annual parade and fireworks display for a fifth straight year, said Barbara Kossow, the association’s Independence Day activities and sponsorship coordinator. The fireworks will follow the 18th annual Kailua-Kona Independence Day Parade that starts at 5:30 p.m. July 4.

The 10-minute show and annual parade that draw thousands to the downtown Kailua-Kona area this year costs about $35,200, she said. About $1,200 of that goes toward the parade with the remainder covering the pyrotechnics display, manpower, insurance and other expenses, such as advertising the event.

Approximately $14,000 of the total is funded by the Hawaii Fire Department through permits, she said. The permits, which fund fireworks displays in both East and West Hawaii, are required for some fireworks purchases around the New Year’s and Fourth of July holidays.

The association, in addition to the permit funding, has raised about $16,200 on its own for the display and parade, Kossow said. About $1,500 of that was funding carried over from 2012 festivities. That leaves the association needing to raise the last $10,000.

“Freedom is not free, but we can celebrate for free,” Kossow said about the public event. “This is an event that brings family and friends together to celebrate being American.”

The association is currently seeking sponsors for the display, which Keaau-based Hawaii Pyrotechnics and Explosives will start at 8 p.m. from a barge within Kailua Bay. It will also accept donations from individuals to make the show a reality. However, the association is not a 501(c)(3), meaning sponsorships and donations are not tax deductible.

For more information or to sponsor or donate, visit paradesinkona.com or call Kossow at 938-0806.

The website offers fireworks sponsorships for individuals and families, ranging from $10 to $300, and corporate and organization sponsorships that range from $100 to $5,000. The corporate and organization sponsors are recognized during the parade, as well as in advertisements before and after the event.

Those who prefer to not to use the website can mail a check to the Kailua-Kona Community Parade Association at P.O. Box 1965, Kailua-Kona, HI 96745.

Email Chelsea Jensen at cjensen@westhawaiitoday.com.

 

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