President’s Message: Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce

Hello Kern River Valley,

May is upon us, the weather is beginning to warm up, the wildflowers have been in full bloom and the bugs are coming out to play after a winter of rest.

The country as we know it has changed over the past eight weeks as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic which has changed the lives of many in a negative way with a large number of individuals who have lost their lives to this horrible virus. The Kern River Valley has been spared to this point with only one case of the COVID-19 virus and that individual has recovered which we can all be grateful for.

With the ever-changing guidance being provided from Sacramento on our shelter in place order all I can say is you personally must protect yourself and family. Every one of us has our own opinion on what is right or wrong when it comes to the way we handle this crisis.

I have been so impressed with the number of locals who have stepped up to assist those in need, did not have the ability to shop for themselves or the extremely high risk of contracting this virus when COVID-19 was introduced into our region.

We did not know what we were dealing with other than the information which was being provided by the State and or Health Department. That is when the volunteers of the KRV did what they do best, they jumped into assist those individuals.

Please support our local businesses who are working diligently through this pandemic. From the food vendors now having to provide take out only services, the grocery stores doing everything possible to ensure the shelves are stocked or the home improvement stores. All of those workers are there for you so we need to be there for them.

All I have to say is every one of us has been affected directly, whether it is from lost wages to the loss of your business. What matters is you and your family are alive, healthy and we will recover.

Over the past seven weeks, I have been in direct communications with state and local officials regarding some of our valley’s greatest events. The Isabella Lake Fishing Derby and Fireworks Extravaganza on July 4.

In the middle of April, the Derby Committee made the decision that our 31st Annual Isabella Lake Fishing Derby was not going to be allowed to take place this year for the safety of the valley residents and anglers, at which time we decided to cancel this year’s event.

Yesterday morning after discussions with multiple individuals our chamber was told we would not be able to obtain the needed permits due to the current social distancing guidelines for large outdoor gatherings or events to hold this years Fireworks Extravaganza on July 4, 2020.

This is not the information any of us wanted but our first concern needs to be the health and safety of the residents of the Kern River Valley. What I will say is we need to have one heck of a show in 2021 to make up for this loss.

I all I want to ask of everyone is please be kind to one another, this shelter at home order and the panic the media has raised over the past many weeks is having a negative impact on all of us. Being anything other than kind is not who we are in the KRV.

Please stay safe and I look forward to seeing everyone soon,

Fred Clark
Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce