Summertime "oohs" and "ahs" don't come cheap, but the members of Clintonville July Fourth Celebration Inc. say there's still time to ensure the neighborhood's annual festivities continue in 2020.
The committee, which has been planning and raising money for the annual fireworks display and daylong festival at Whetstone Park for more than two decades, announced last fall that the 2019 show was its last and that it was seeking someone to step up and take on the event.
Thus far, committee member Pat Kearns-Davis said, there have been no takers.
"We met with one group, and when they got back to us, they told us it would be too much work," Kearns-Davis said. "There have been some people interested in handling bits and pieces (of the event and its advance fundraisers), but no one has committed."
"Everyone has said, 'We'll help you,' but helping isn't the ticket," she said. "We're needing someone to take over the event -- the planning and the execution."
Clintonville Area Commission member Judy Minister said it would be sad to lose the July Fourth fest.
"I hope (Kearns-Davis) can find someone whose group might be willing to take over the event," she said.
Minister said she has been in contact with Kearns-Davis and provided a list of organizations in the neighborhood for the committee to explore.
The committee announced its decision to "retire" last fall in order to allow for the advance planning and fundraising needed to pull of the event, Kearns-Davis said.
She said some pieces of the puzzle are in place for 2020, but time is growing short.
"Permits, reservations, insurance, fundraising -- it doesn't really just happen," she said in October.
"It takes a good five to 10 people to run it, to coordinate everything. We're in Clintonville -- we should be able to handle this."
In all, Kearns-Jones said, it takes about $70,000 to make the event happen.
"If someone jumped in on Feb. 1 and said they would head things up, we could help them along, and things are far enough along that it could happen," she said.
But she added she's not sure how late in the calendar such a transition could happen and be successful.
Kearns-Davis said she has considered staying on board "one more year," but said the committee, which includes many members of her extended family, is firm in its decision to step away.
"Maybe it's something that has to go away first to find out how important it is," she said.
"But that's something we do not want to see happen."