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Tehachapi celebrates the 4th of July with fireworks display

City of Tehachapi

As the 4th of July holiday approaches, the City of Tehachapi will be making modifications to its annual Independence Day celebrations as currently festivals and large gatherings are not permitted in the State of California as a result of COVID-19. In keeping with tradition however, the City of Tehachapi, in association with Zambelli Fireworks and sponsor sPower, will be producing a fireworks spectacular at 9 p.m. originating from the Tehachapi Municipal Airport on Saturday, July 4th.

With restrictions currently in place on large festivals and events, the City has decided to cancel the regularly-scheduled All-American 4th of July Festival at Philip Marx Central Park and Coy Burnett Stadium. All activities normally scheduled for those locations will not take place this year.

Even if restrictions were lifted in the coming weeks, timing and uncertainty made planning for this event extremely difficult and the decision was made to focus exclusively on the fireworks display in 2020.

“At this point in time a festival would either not be allowed or would include too many restrictions per the State of California or the Department of Public Health, which didn’t seem appropriate for our Independence Day,” said Economic Development Coordinator and festival organizer Corey Costelloe. “We now set our sights on 2021 where we hope to have an appropriate celebration of our freedom on this great nation’s birthday.”

Due to the same restrictions for live sporting events and fan attendance, the Tehachapi Mountain Rodeo Association will not be holding the annual “Bad Bulls” bull riding event. It is the hope of TMRA to focus on a larger-than-ever Mountain Festival Rodeo in August. Details on that event continue to develop as guidelines for live sporting events have yet to be issued by the State.

While regularly-scheduled public events during the day on July 4 will have to wait a year, the annual fireworks show will continue. Originally organized by the former Tehachapi Volunteer Fire Department, this show holds a long tradition in our community and will continue in 2020 despite current challenges. This year the show will be produced by Zambelli Fireworks, a Kern County-based company that will be providing an 18-minute aerial array of fireworks originating from the Tehachapi Municipal Airport. With the central location of the airport and the surrounding elevated viewpoints, this show can be enjoyed from many areas around the Tehachapi Valley.

For the third consecutive year, the fireworks spectacular is presented by sPower, a leading independent power producer with a portfolio of over 150 operating projects in the United States, including several in Kern and nearby Los Angeles County. Their focus is utility-scale renewable energy projects, specializing in solar, wind and energy storage.

“We are pleased to be able to continue our partnership with sPower and continue the tradition of our fireworks spectacular on the 4th of July,” said City Manager Greg Garrett. “While things are different in 2020, we refused to lose focus on the importance of the fireworks display to our community, to our sense of normalcy and to our country.”