The Winfield Kiwanis Clubs will hold a community wide cookout from 5 to 6:30 p.m. June 25 at Barn 6 at the Winfield Fairgrounds to raise money for the city’s annual Fourth of July celebration. 

The meal will include chicken, beans, chips, a cookie and a drink. 

All proceeds will go towards funding the fireworks display on the Fourth of July.

Since 2015 the Winfield Fourth of July event has been organized by five Rotarians. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 celebration was scaled back. Ways to raise donations were limited, so the event ended in the red. 

This year the decision to hold the event was made in March, so this year’s Fourth will also be a scaled down version of past celebrations. No music or other events will be held prior to the fireworks.

Volunteers will be at the event taking donations to offset the cost, which is $13,000. 

“So far we’ve been able to raise about $5,000,” Bradley Gamber said, one of the Rotarians who early on organized the event. This will be the last year those individuals will coordinate the celebration. 

The City of Winfield is hoping another group of individuals or an organization will step up to take over the holiday celebration. 

“The group (of Rotarians) has tried to step away from the event for the past several years, but it has been difficult finding people to take it on, and we felt the celebration is important enough to the community so we kept coming back,” Gamber said. 

Even with only three weeks left until the event and nearly $8,000 still needing to be raised, Gamber is optimistic about the chances of the event’s being held this year. But he’s not sure about next year. No one has expressed interest in taking over the celebration. 

With a year to work on the celebration, Gamber said, it could turn into an event Winfield — or even Cowley County — could be proud of. “But it has to be more than five individuals coordinating and trying to raise funds for such an important community event,” Gamber said. 

Anyone interested in taking on the project is encouraged to contact City of Winfield Mayor Greg Thompson, City Manager Taggert Wall, or Commissioners Phil Jarvis or Ron Hutto.

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