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Foothills Foundation cancels Red White & You festival

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By AJ Vicens

The Foothills Foundation board of directors has canceled this year’s Red, White & You celebration at Clement Park, citing a lack of sponsors and funds.

The annual Fourth of July fete was heading into its fifth year, but there were signs it was financially unsustainable leading up to 2008’s festival. Prior to 2008, the Foothills Park & Recreation District put on the event, but last year the district board was poised to cancel the event, citing lack of funds and staffing issues. The Foothills Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money for district projects, took over in hopes that existing sponsors and other revenue from the celebration could sustain it.

“Now, given current economic challenges, pre-event revenue streams have been less than expected,” said foundation executive director Lora Knowlton. “It was a tough decision for the board to make, as the event has become a community tradition.”

Red, White & You was scheduled from 6 to 9:45 p.m. July 3 at Clement Park. Planned were kids’ games, food vendors, live music and fireworks.

The Foothills Foundation instead will present a free concert from 7 to 8:30 p.m. July 3 at Clement Park. Chris Daniels and the Kings will perform.

“If they couldn’t secure sponsorships, we’d have a hard time securing corporate sponsorships as well,” said Ron Hopp, executive director of the Foothills Park & Recm District. “It’s a product of the economy where sponsorships are very tight.”

The Foothills Foundation also produces the annual Summerset Festival, viewed as South Jeffco’s goodbye to summer. For now, that festival is expected to go on.

“The foundation board is confident based on existing sponsorships and booth registrations that the Summerset Festival will continue as planned and is in no danger of being canceled,” Knowlton said.

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com, and check www.columbinecourier.com for updates and breaking news.