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Chamber of Commerce seeking others for help organizing Freedom Fest; Will continue to organize Fourth of July Parade

The Austin Area Chamber of Commerce is hoping that other community organizations will get involved in planning Freedom Fest.

In a vote held Wednesday morning, the Board of Directors opted to diminish the Chamber’s role in organizing the annual Fourth of July event. The decision came as a result of the limited means the Chamber had to put on the growing event.

Elaine Hansen

“The Freedom Fest event has a long history in Austin and has been growing and expanding over the past years,” said Austin Area Chamber of Commerce President Elaine Hansen. “The chamber, with its limited staff and a declining volunteer base, is stretched to provide all the services needed to continue to host this large community event while working to keep its member programming strong.”

Hansen stated the Board recently adopted a new mission statement: “The Austin Area Chamber of Commerce supports our members by promoting local commerce, advocating business perspectives, and establishing relationships for business and community success.”

“With this focus, the chamber is expanding its programming with Lunch and Learn seminars and a Young Professionals program, among others.”

The decision, however, does not mean the Chamber will no longer be involved in Freedom Fest, nor does it mean there will be no Freedom Fest. The Chamber will still be responsible for organizing the annual Fourth of July Parade while urging other community organizations to take over other aspects of the celebration.

“The Austin Area Chamber of Commerce is looking forward to organizing and hosting the July Fourth Freedom Fest parade again next year,” Hansen said. “The Board of Directors sees this as a great opportunity to promote and highlight our member businesses to the entire Austin community. Other portions of the Freedom Fest event will likely be organized by other community partners as we look to continue this long-standing community celebration. As a matter of fact, other groups have expressed an interest in working on the event to take it to the next level.”

“A true community event like this can and should include a variety of partners to make it successful,” she added.

The Chamber will continue to organize other community events, such as the Christmas in the City celebrations.