The show will go on — Kennewick’s annual River of Fire fireworks display is threatened no more.
The Tri-City Water Follies Association is rescuing the traditional Fourth of July fireworks display over the Columbia River.
The event had been chopped late last year by the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Water Follies will produce what it is calling the River of Fire “Celebration” with HAPO Community Credit serving as financial sponsor.
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Fans can expect a similar fireworks display they’ve come to expect in the 30-plus years Kennewick has celebrated the Fourth with an over-the-river fireworks display.
The 20-minute show will feature fireworks shot from a Tidewater barge positioned off Columbia Park.
The River of Fire celebration will focus primarily on fireworks. Daytime activities have eased in recent years.
Any money raised to support the 2018 Fourth of July celebration will be invested in the fireworks themselves.
It’s a natural fit.
Kennewick Councilman Paul Parish
Emily Estes-Cross, economic development and tourism director for the city of Kennewick, secured the Water Follies Association as .
“It’s a natural fit,” observed Councilman Paul Parish.
The regional chamber startled local leaders last fall when it said it could not longer produce the complex event.
The chamber board voted to stop producing River of Fire and Richland’s Cool Desert Nights last year, saying they don’t align with its mission and were the lowest-ranked events in a survey of members.
It stopped its River of Fire support immediately, calling it a complex event that overwhelmed its small staff.
River of Fire also was a modest fundraiser in recent years. Since 2008, the event returned an annual profit of about $11,000.
The chamber gave Cool Desert Nights a one-year reprieve to see if a new sponsor for the vintage car show centered in Richland would step forward.