‘Big Bay Boo-Boo’ disappointment may ignite redux
by Kevin McKay
Jul 11, 2012 | 206661 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A barge at Shelter Island — one of five locations for the Port District’s “Big Bay Boom” Fourth of July fireworks display — erupts in pyrotechnics all in one fell swoop, apparently due to a computer glitch.    
             Photo by Mike McCarthy I The Beacon
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After the embarrassment of the botched ‘Big Bay Boom’ fireworks display around San Diego Bay that left an estimated half-million spectators scratching their heads in wonder on the Fourth of July, officials with the title sponsor Unified Port of San Diego repeatedly apologized for the operator’s technical malfunction that shortened the planned

16 1/2-minute show to just a few seconds.

The show, which cost an estimated $400,000 to produce, includes four barges around San Diego Bay, as well as a fifth location at the Imperial Beach Pier. One of the barge locations is at Shelter Island with another at Harbor Island. The Port District contracts the pyrotechnics show and related services to event producer, H.P. Purdon & Company, Inc., which, in turn, contracted with Garden State Fireworks, Inc. for the pyrotechnics display.

The New Jersey-based Garden State Fireworks, Inc., which was actually founded 122 years ago, was contracted to operate the show as one of 15 spectaculars across the country this past Fourth of July. Company officials said the fireworks fizzle was a first, and also offered hearty and repeated apologies for the miscue that gained attention on the national stage.

Garden State Fireworks, Inc. co-owner August Santore told reporters last week that his company would do “whatever we need to do” to rectify the mistake, including the possibility of a redux show at some point at no cost to the Port District.

Officials with the Port of San Diego — which contributed $145,000 in cash and in-kind services, including clean up, Harbor Police law enforcement service and traffic enforcement — said last week they were still weighing options.

“As title sponsor of the Big Bay Boom Fireworks Show, the Port of San Diego is very disappointed that this year’s event failed due to an apparent technical malfunction, which caused the fireworks to discharge early and all at once,” said port officials in a formal statement July 5.

“Since 2001, the Big Bay Boom Fireworks Show has grown each year and successfully entertained hundreds of thousands of spectators along San Diego Bay on July 4th. The Port of San Diego has been proud to serve as a title sponsor and one of many public agencies, hotels, restaurants, marinas and other organizations who support the show,” continued the statement.

Port District officials said funds raised above and beyond the cost of producing the show are donated to Armed Services YMCA, a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive services to military service members and their families.

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