The Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce will no longer produce two iconic Mid-Columbia summer events — the River of Fire Festival and Cool Desert Nights.
The chamber board voted to drop the two events after concluding the Fourth of July fireworks event and the vintage car show no longer align with its mission to support businesses.
The move has left the cities of Kennewick and Richland scrambling to keep the popular traditions going.
Lori Mattson, president and CEO of the chamber, told the Kennewick City Council this week the events were the chamber’s lowest-ranked offerings in a survey of members.
The chamber is immediately dropping the July 4 celebration in Columbia Park that it’s managed for 20 years.
It will organize the Cool Desert Nights in 2018 to give it a year to develop programs to replace money it makes for the chamber. Cool Desert Nights marked its 24th year in June. The two-day event draws thousands of car and motorcycle lovers to Richland.