Symphony and fireworks extravaganza canceled for 2020

After four years since the fireworks and symphony show popped onto the scene in Paso Robles, the Paso Pops will not continue in the near future. On Tuesday, the Paso Pops chairperson Steve Cass sent a letter thanking the community and the supporters for the past four events.

Paso Pops was dreamt up as a fundraiser for the annual Paderewski Festival, and it showed potential but was a large financial risk for the nonprofit to carry on its own. In 2017, it started its run on the 4th of July weekend with a fireworks show and symphony at the Paso Robles Horse Park, and spent the last two years at the Paso Robles Event Center.

Thousands of attendees enjoyed each year of a brilliantly produced event. From Casey Biggs flying into the arena by parachute to a downtown fireworks show, the event did not disappoint, but the cost was a concern for organizers as the event was meant as a fundraiser and the costs for operating the show were too high to promise a return. Without a financial underwriter, the nonprofit was in the throes of the market with high liability for show expenses.

Three years of the show produced a swath visually explosive records that will be a memory in honor of the Paderewski Festival and all that it means to the musical community of Paso Robles. Here’s a look at the photos (for the letter from Steve Cass, see below).

2018 Paso Pops 42

Paso Pops Epilogue 2016-2019

It is with deep regret that we are forced to cancel the 2020 Paso Pops Independence Day celebration, concert and fireworks extravaganza, an event enjoyed by thousands in the community underwritten by the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles.  In short, the financial risk for such a large event turned out to be too great for our small non-profit.

We owe a debt of gratitude to past sponsors for their support of this event. Without them, we could not have had our four year run. We also would like to thank the 100+ volunteers who worked on the day of the event and the 20 volunteers who worked to organize the event for six months each year. Finally, thanks to Paso Robles Event Center, local wineries, and the SLO Symphony.  Without them, there would have been no event at all!  

We are considering other options, and hope to come back with a sustainable music program and wine tasting event that is equally entertaining for the community.

Steve Cass
Paso Pops Chair