Update From City Of Everett, Washington On Failure Of July 4th Fireworks Show

July 5, 2023



Photo Credit Jack Krolak

Photo credit: Jack Krolak

Photo credit: Jack Krolak

Last night the “Thunder on the Bay” Fireworks Show did not happen. There were a few shells fired but then the show stopped. Reader Jack Krolak was working at his boat ramp and sent us these photos of the start of the show.

We sent some questions this morning to the City of Everett about what happened and received this update from Simone Tarver who handles public information for Everett, Washington.

Q: First and most important, is the crew that was on the barge okay? That’s what matters most.
Thankfully, the crew on the barge is okay. There were no injuries reported.

Q: Can you explain what happened?
A completely unexpected and irreparable programming error occurred that impacted not only the primary computer used for the show but also the backup computer. The vendor is still investigating exactly what transpired, but it doesn’t appear to be something that could have been caused or controlled by the pyrotechnician. Their staff onsite and at their office tried everything they could to address the error, but at 10:48 p.m., the vendor let us know the issue would not be fixable. Once notified, we proceeded with informing the community.

Q: What is the plan moving forward? Will there be a make-good show or refund to the city?
The vendor is extremely apologetic about the situation and is working to determine exactly what went wrong with the show. They are overnighting a full refund of what had been paid towards the show ($37,500) and they are paying for the tugboat services and all other production elements associated with the show.

Q: What was the cost of this year’s contract?
The total cost of the show was $75,000 ($37,500 has been paid to date) and that cost is inclusive of the various expenses associated with putting on a firework show over the water including the tugboat, fuel, the barge, permitting, the actual fireworks, etc. The show was supposed to be 18 minutes long and of the same magnitude as our past shows.

Q: What would you like the folks in Everett to know?
• We are so appreciative of everyone that came out to the festival, as well as the volunteer-led parade, yesterday. We apologize for any inconvenience. While it is disappointing that the fireworks show had to be canceled, it was still great to see the community come together to celebrate Independence Day.
• This issue wasn’t encountered because of any efforts to ‘cut corners.’ We worked with the same company that we have in the past and had a very experienced pyrotechnician, who has executed hundreds of shows over his 23 years with this company, running the show. Our vendor followed the same processes as they have in the past to ensure they’d be able to put on the high-quality show that our community looks forward to each year. The process included testing the program multiple times after loading it and running redundant computers, so if they did encounter an issue, the second computer could take over and fire the show.

MyEverettNews.com will continue to follow up and pass along information as it is made available.

About My Everett News Staff

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring news and events in Everett, Washington. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett.

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