Public fireworks rained out on St. Pete Beach
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07/09/10 Andrea Lypka
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Despite the rainy weather, several people came to watch the public fireworks on St. Pete Beach on Independence Day. But they were up for a surprise. Fireworks did not light up the sky this time. The city sponsored light show was canceled in the last minute due to safety reasons after the fireworks operators concluded it was not safe to carry out the show in the rain.

St. Pete Beach public firework displays on Independence Day have been rare in the last couple of years. This year, says St. Pete Beach city manager Michael Bonfield, the situation was beyond his control. “This is a very unfortunate situation, we had an operator failure. The vendor we contract with, who successfully put on a number of shows in our area, their operators had difficulties and we were unable to make this show happen,” he said.

Bonfield says the fireworks contractor, Pyrotecnico.com, offered the city a refund and a future show at no cost. While this year’s light show was canceled because of safety reasons, there has been a string of bad luck with fireworks. There has been no public Fourth of July light show three years in a row.

Bonfield says the same vendor has organized last year’s fireworks too. “The same company is doing shows in this area very successfully, so it really comes down to people they subcontract with to shoot the shows and we unfortunately haven’t had the best of luck with whom has been assigned to St. Pete Beach,” he said.

The city has budgeted $15,000 for this event, the vendor donated $6,000 and the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce donated $4,000. The funds have been returned to the city, said Bonfield.

Chamber President Robin Grabowski also wanted to see this year’s fireworks. “Many citizens were disappointed but I think it is better to be safe than sorry if things were wet. I am confident that some people will make good on what has happened,” she said.

Inclement weather that day did not spoil other fireworks along the beaches.

Photo Gallery of the private fireworks on St. Pete Beach

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