The Antioch Fourth of July Committee had a post-event debriefing meeting July 10 to take stock of this year’s proceedings and to gauge where we need to go next year. Overall, there was a lot of good and a little bad and ugly, though there were growth areas.
Starting with the good … the fundraising was hugely successful, with some $65,000 raised cash. The crowd was huge; three deep even in the corners. Conservative estimates were an easy 20,000 but I heard seasoned event organizers say it looked 30,000. Well-behaved as well. I heard of only two fights, which lasted maybe 30 seconds each. Of course, police and traffic VIPs need be thanked, as well as city staff handling engineering, permits, maintenance and cleanup.
The 22-minute fireworks show, put on by Fireworks America, with synchronized music, was Jim Dandy. The sound and DJ, Frank Rundall of Rundall Productions, were dynamite. The food vendors were varied and well received, albeit not enough.
The Kids Zone was fun and packed. The car show, with 61 entries, was a hit, as was the 50-plus parade entries orchestrated by Susan Davis.
As to “needs improvement” …
The city asked for a slew of port-a-potties near the marina – they were hardly used and some of them could have better served Second Street by City Hall.
The free shuttles, though useful in bringing hundreds down to the event from Antioch High, were snails getting out of there, hampered by the legions on the street.
Police or volunteers are needed to patrol the train tracks and pier, dangerous congregation points.
We wanted to make sure the vendors’ time was fairly compensated, which doesn’t always happen. As testimonial to this year’s success, Straw Hat Pizza said it was its best event in 16 years. Next year we may have two vending areas.
The police had bigger fish to fry, but next year we need better safeguards against unauthorized vendors we can’t vouch for and who unfairly take away from the profits we need to make this event happen.
Live and learn, especially from such a huge endeavor that was run strictly by volunteers and paid for by corporate and citizen donations. Overwhelmingly, though, we’ve heard compliments.
One overarching imperative – to keep this tradition going, we need more volunteers, either to sit on the Planning Committee or for day-of. Please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to event co-chairs Allen Payton, Susan Davis, Louise Green, Joy Motts or Martha Parsons.