Committee Member Discusses Decision to Cancel 4th of July Festival

HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – The 4th of July Festival in Havre’s Pepin Park has been canceled for a second straight year, and the Committee that runs the event is looking for help from the public to ensure it can continue in the years ahead.

Committee member Allen ‘Woody’ Woodwick says Event Chair Sherri Simonson, who has moved to Helena, is committed to helping put on the event in 2022 if necessary, but they will need a new Chair after that.

“People are willing to step up for the servers and a lot of things like that, the scouts with the flag presentation. We have a substantial amount of volunteers lined up for that. What we’re looking for is someone to take over the Chairmanship.”

2021 will mark the second consecutive year that the volunteer-run event featuring free food and live music will not be held. It was canceled in 2020 due to safety concerns related to the pandemic, and is unable to be held this summer for a variety of reasons.

“The big factor is the uncertainties that we’re looking at. That is whether or not we can even reserve the park yet,” Woodwick said. “And that’s a huge one, because in order to have everything ready, we need to order 1,500-2,000 hamburgers and hot dogs, buns, watermelons, beans, water, pop and all the stuff that goes along with it. It’s hard to order that ahead of time when you’re not even sure if we can get the park reserved. The other thing is the insurance is a whole different ballgame now with COVID risks. And so with those things going on, we needed to have our stuff ordered already and have everything put into place. We usually start in February. So we were just kind of waiting and waiting to see how things were going and we just decided it would be best just to pull the plug and play it safe for this year. But we certainly intend to keep it going next year.”

Woodwick says his committee has also been approaching local service organizations to see if they would be interested in helping put on the event in the coming years.

Anyone interested in helping out with the 4th of July Festival is encouraged to reach out to Woodwick on Facebook.

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