HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The show will not go on. The Marine Corps Base Hawaii announced its popular summer event BayFest is canceled.
More than 25,000 people stream into the Marine Corps Base in Kaneohe every year for the three days of BayFest activities and concerts, but the event in its 22nd year has not survived federal budget cuts.
"It is sad but you know we have to be fiscally responsible," said Bobbie Brock, Marine Corps Community Services Coordinator.
That also means no rides or other festivities. The main reason is because of federal sequestration cuts. The Marine Corps Base has about 1,500 civilian employees who are expected to be furloughed anywhere from 7 to 21 days a year. Taking what work time they have to plan a party didn't seem justified especially since in the 22 years of the event they've maybe been profitable two years.
"We're lucky if we break even. But again the focus of BayFest is community relations. It's an opportunity for us to open up the base to the community, give thanks to them and also give thanks to our military personnel," said Brock.
"I don't think it was a huge surprise just due to all the Fleet Week's that have been canceled, and the Blue (Angels) and Thunderbirds have cut back on their schedule so I think it wasn't a huge surprise," said Capt. Pamela Marshall, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Public Affairs Officer.
"It's different from your checking and savings account. The Marine Corps and the Department of Defense in general, you can't just move funds around. Each dollar is specifically put in a certain pot of money and it's really difficult to move those around to pay for such large events as BayFest. It's unfortunate we have to cancel it but we want to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars," continued Capt. Marshall.
So who would have headlined this year? It's unknown. No one was booked yet so there aren't any cancellation fees. Private equipment contractors won't get the work and people won't get the show.
"It would be a bummer. I think the people in the community look forward to it. I myself have gone for years there," said Lawrence Smalls, Kailua.
"I think it's kind of disappointing for people who usually go to that kind of stuff," said Eric Kanakaole, Nanakuli.
Schofield Barracks is going ahead with its 4th of July Spectacular landing rock band OneRepublic as the headliner. That event is now in its 42nd year and attracts 35,000 to 40,000 people. The Army is reviewing the event to determine what activities, if any, might be scaled back due to "constrained resources."
"Funding for the event comes primarily from revenue generated through our recycling program, commercial advertising and sponsorship; vendor fees; event food, beverage and product sales; and other non-appropriated fund programs," said Stefanie Gardin, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs. "Additionally, the entertainment headliner "OneRepublic" is being funded by the Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE) agency at no cost to the Army in Hawaii. AFE is the official Department of Defense agency that provides entertainment to U.S. military personnel overseas. Hawaii was a scheduled stop in the band's Pacific AFE tour.
Pearl Harbor will also have its July 4th Beachfest, although it will end 5:00 and won't have any fireworks due to "budget constraints."
"Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is planning a July 4th Beachfest at Hickam Harbor from 11 to 5 p.m. There will be musical entertainment from the Pacific Fleet Band and the Air Force Band of the Pacific, and activities for the whole family to enjoy. The traditional fireworks show will not be included in this year's events due to budget constraints," said Agnes Tauyan, Director, Public Affairs Navy Region Hawaii. "The Pacific Missile Range Facility is in the planning stages for an Independence Day celebration on July 3, and like Pearl Harbor-Hickam, their event will be a fun-filled family event without fireworks."
BayFest is the biggest event the Marine Corps Base puts on. The smaller events the rest of the year will go on as scheduled. As for next year, it's still to be determined.