Serge Dedina

Thanks to the organizers of the Sun & Sea Festival for putting together events for this summer. A generous grant from the County of San Diego will permit a modified version of this longtime event to occur from August 13-22. According to the Sun & Sea Festival Committee, “San Diego County’s largest sandcastle competition will be replaced by the largest sandcastle ever built on Imperial Beach sand. This massive sandcastle will be built at Portwood Pier Plaza by the multi-award-winning professional team and hometown favorite, I.B. Posse.Visitors to Imperial Beach can watch the sandcastle transform from a mountain of sand into a vibrant, living work of art starting Friday morning on Aug. 13. Building will take place over several days and is anticipated to be complete by Aug. 20. The castle will be available for viewing after completion will not be destroyed by locals as in past tradition.” On Saturday, Aug. 14, the family and kid friendly Kids-n-Kastles event will be held at Dunes Park. For more information on what sounds like a great time, go to sunandseafestival.com.

Imperial Beach was among many cities that had to forego fireworks this past Independence Day for public safety and financial reasons. Most communities in San Diego County that host fireworks receive independent contributions organized by independent organizations to pay the high costs of the actual fireworks and public safety requirements. This is the case, for example, in La Jolla and in Coronado.

In the past, Imperial Beach has also had private fundraising efforts to offset the costs. The current minimum $60,000 price tag makes it likely that funding gaps for fireworks will continue until the future, especially as fireworks eclipses the cost for all events held for one year as well as all Parks and Rec and Senior Center programming. Budgets in these tough times are about priorities and as a community we are going to have to identify ways to augment the skyrocketing costs of hosting events that may end up resulting in cut budgets for local community services and programs. I would also hope that local civic organizations can start to identify a private fundraising strategy to help defray future fireworks costs.

Welcome aboard Shannon Bullock, the new Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Imperial Beach. Shannon has a wealth of experience working for cities like Chula Vista, National City, San Diego and El Cajon that she can apply to help provide quality programming for Imperial Beach residents. Shannon grew up in San Diego, graduated from SDSU (Go Aztecs!) and has a wealth of ideas on how to jumpstart our much needed recreational programs and activities for our kids, families and seniors. I recently sat in with Shannon and city staff on a meeting with the Imperial Beach Athletic Club and was impressed with Shannon’s commitment to community partnerships so we can have a wide range of events that bring our kids, community and city together.

Unfortunately, the numbers of COVID patients is increasing again, and according to the San Diego County Department of Public Health, these new cases are almost all among the unvaccinated. So please get vaccinated. It is safe, simple and easier than ever. Why get sick if you don’t have to?

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