The Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce may consider doing Red, White and Boom a little differently in the future and is thinking about using outside help to do it.

Just 45 days after the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce Red, White and Boom 2011, chamber officials met to start planning for 2012. Among the discussion was whether or not hiring an outside producer may be a plausible idea for the annual event.

"We will definitely continue to own the event," said Larry Hughes, interim president/CEO for the chamber. "All we are looking at at this time is hiring an outside event planning group to take on a lot of the responsibility for the logistics of the event. They would hire the vendors and get all permitting lined up and assist with the fundraising and such."

Fundraising was a big problem for the chamber this year. A last-minute donation of $15,000 from Darin Fisher and Vision Community Management may have been the final push to make the event possible. Members of the Red, White and Boom Committee who were present at the meeting on Wednesday agreed they did not want to risk doing last-minute fundraising again for next year.

An agency called HDE approached the chamber recently with an interest in the event. HDE produces many events in Chandler including Oktoberfest, Bike Night, Summer Splash and the St. Patrick's Day Festival. No decision has been made yet but Hughes says the chamber has seen interest from a few other groups since then and that they may consider putting out a request for proposals in the future.

"I think we need to do a little more discovery," Hughes said. "We do know there's enough interest out there that if we decide to move forward an RFP would be the next step."

Hughes said the qualifications the chamber would look for is a company with a good track record in the Valley of putting on good, family-friendly events.

For now, the group plans to get started on planning the event for next year. They'll begin looking for sponsorship and donations right away, as well as setting up a website dedicated to the event.

Chamber officials plan to keep the event in Ahwatukee but hope to make it bigger and better each year. They are open to expanding the event over a longer period of time and adding more activities.

"I'd like to see it continue to be a family-friendly event first and foremost," Hughes said. "If we can do that and include some other opportunities for family fun I think we should explore those. I think that's going to be the guiding principal is this is going to continue to be a family-friendly environment and targeted as such."

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(1) comment


So as I understand it, the Red, White, and Boom that always falls thousands of dollars short now wants to spend money on an event company to manage the event? People step up to save the event each year at the eleventh, and we thank you. Now you understand why it was moved to Rawhide and why Rawhide supported the event by bribing volunteers with free steak dinners. This was a loss leader for Rawhide after paying the lion's share of the fireworks and all of the police, DPS, fire department, and rental bills. The economy and lack of corporate and community involvement is what makes Red, White, and Boom such a burden. Thanks for your time. Jerry Allston, former event manager at Rawhide.

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