Don’t worry San Diego, it happens to everyone.
America’s so-called Finest City really blew it last night in the most spectacular, 15-second fireworks show in Fourth of July history.
Only one problem: The “Big Bay Boom” show was supposed to pleasure its audience for 17 minutes.
San Diego officials, show producers and Millington, NJ-based Garden State Fireworks are still trying to figure out today how the signal was given for all the explosive-carrying barges to fire at once, just before the 9 p.m. scheduled start time.
“There’s a lot of disappointment [but] it was pretty spectacular,” show producer Sandy Purdon told The Post.
The first people to put seven and four together were listeners of a local radio station that was playing patriotic music that was supposed to accompany the pyrotechnics above.
Listeners figured out this was a case of fireworks dysfunction, as the music kept playing while the explosives went limp.
“Approximately five minutes before the show was to start, a signal was sent to the barges that would set the timing for the rest of the show, after the introduction,” according to a statement by the Port of San Diego.
“There were a number of preliminary test signals sent hours and minutes leading up to the show. All these signals tested properly, according to Garden State Fireworks, the fireworks company that provides the show.”
The statement concluded: “We apologize for the brevity of the show and the technical difficulties.”
The show costs about $400,000 to stage including a $125,000 contract for Garden State, officials said.
“I apologize to everyone in San Diego,” Garden State co-owner August Santore told the The San Diego Union-Tribune.
“We did last year’s show and this one was to be even bigger. We did this show in 15 locations around the country last night and this was the first time this has happened. No one is more saddened than we are.”
“We’re a proud company and we’ll do whatever we need to do, come back and do another show and not charge for it,” Santore added. “I’m very confident that whatever happened, we’re going to get to the bottom of it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
But even if the company provides its services again for free, Purdon said there’s still the problem of sponsorships, cash contributions and in-kind donations that were spent last night and can’t be recovered.
Among options on the table now are waiting until next year and taking Garden State’s offer then; or raise new money for another show later this summer.
“I know they’re [Garden State Fireworks] just sick about it … disheartened,” said Port of San Diego spokesman John Gilmore.
Garden State Fireworks was established in 1890 and has done explosives for some of New York and world’s biggest bashes, according to its Web site.
The company said it has provided fireworks, in past years, for the Macy’s and Washington D.C. Fourth of July shows, the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary, the Statue of Liberty Bicentennial Celebration and New Year’s Eve in Central Park
San Diego officials are just happy there were no injuries, either on land or among crew members working the barges.
“We are very fortunate no one got hurt, it [last night’s show] was a very large show of force,” said Michelle Ganon, director of communications for the Port of San Diego.
Source: New York Post