Kenai chamber to keep handling July 4 events

Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Never fear, parade fans, Kenai's Fourth of July celebration is back on track.

After announcing it would no longer organize the annual parade and celebration, the Kenai Chamber of Commerce has since changed its mind.

"We are heading up the Fourth of July planning committee and have some other people who have joined in to help," said Cherie Brewer, president of the chamber's board of directors.

The chamber board voted in January to refocus its energy and resources more toward building economics and commerce in the city than on being a social organization. Part of that reorganization meant it would no longer be responsible for heading up the planning of the Fourth of July activities and the Community Cleanup event held each spring.

The chamber's plan was to find other organizations willing to take on the responsibility of the Fourth of July celebration. Over two months later, it hasn't found a group that would do it.

"No one wanted to jump in and take total control of it," Brewer said.

The chamber also received some negative feedback on its decision to relinquish its organizational duties.

"It was brought to our attention that we are relied upon to do that," Brewer said. "It was voted by the board to continue."

The chamber will hold a Fourth of July planning meeting at noon April 4 at Paradisos Restaurant. Any organization or individual who would like to help is invited.

"The Moose Lodge has shown some interest. We gladly welcome them on board and anyone else wanting to come to the meeting. We're glad to have them there," Brewer said.

Although the chamber would still like to phase itself out of the responsibility for organizing the July festivities in Kenai, it is not looking like it will be able to do so any time soon.

"I think we're probably resigned that the Fourth of July is our deal, from the community input we got," Brewer said.

That is not necessarily a bad thing, however.

"Our most important goal this year is to promote community unity," Brewer said. "By us spearheading the committee, I think we'll be able to continue in that direction."

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