Corbin Tourism’s annual Independence Day fireworks show has joined the growing list of large-scale events cancelled because of the COVID–19 pandemic.
At the tourism commission’s regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, Tourism Director Maggy Kriebel asked the commissioners for their suggestions on whether to hold the event as scheduled, postpone it until the restrictions on public gathering are loosened, or cancel entirely.
“We won’t be the only one,” Commissioner Kristen Smith said of cancelling the fireworks.
Kriebel explained that a $6,000 deposit had already been placed with the fireworks company. While the company would refund the money, it was offering the option of holding the deposit and applying it toward the 2021 show.
Kriebel added that with the loss of restaurant and transient tax revenue because of the virus, Corbin Tourism’s 2020-21 fiscal year budget is going to be bare bones and require some hard decisions on the part of the commissioners.
“The budget is going to be rough,” Kriebel said, noting she had anticipated not having the show, which would require an additional $6,000, should the commissioners elect to go forward with it.
“Funds are scarce,” Kriebel said.
Commissioner Sudhir Patel said having the company hold the money appeared to be the best option, and Ish Patel agreed.
Kriebel did say the commission could elect to shoot a $6,000 show, which would be 10 minutes in length compared to the typical 20 minutes.
The commissioners voiced reluctance to take that approach.
Commissioner Victor Patel noted that previous fireworks shows have been pushed back because of weather, with one finally going off during the city’s annual NIBROC Festival.
Smith asked what repercussions the commission faced if it elected to cancel the show.
“Disappointment,” Kriebel replied, adding that with the current situation people would likely understand if the show were cancelled.