OCEAN CITY – The 4th of July fireworks went off with the usual oohs and aahs Wednesday, albeit with a different supplier than years past.
This year Ocean City chose to go with a three-year contract with American Fireworks of Hudson, Ohio versus Zambelli, which had provided the city with the 4th of July fireworks for a number of years.
American Fireworks was chosen due to a savings of a little over $22,000, charging a total of $45,000 for the two 4th of July fireworks displays on Wednesday downtown and Northside Park uptown. Zambelli came in with a bid of $28,750 per show.
At the time, the Mayor and City Council found making the change a tough decision since the town has had so many years of experience with Zambelli.
Director of Recreation and Parks Tom Shuster and Special Events Coordinator John Sullivan agreed yesterday that the two companies put on comparable shows, and the town as well as this year’s audience were pleased either way.
Sullivan watched the show from Northside Park and reported no technical difficulties at that location.
“It was right on the money and it was first class and that is the way we wanted it,” he said. “The company was very professional and good to work with.’
Sullivan added that he couldn’t help but notice the level of excitement among the crowd and overheard numerous comments over the music choreographed to go along with the display.
“Ocean City has always prided itself in having the best around, and they were very good,” he said. “They [audience] would applaud, they yell and scream, I heard the conversations and they just loved how the music was synchronized to them, and they were very pleased.”
Although there were minor difficulties at the downtown location with the firing initiation of the fireworks sequence resulting in the show starting late by 10 minutes Recreation and Parks Director Tom Shuster agreed American Fireworks put on a pleasing show from start to finish.
“They submitted to us well in advance with their audio they did for the show … and we were really pleased with the way the fireworks worked with the soundtrack, it was a nice display with a really nice strong finish, they were very good,” he said of the downtown display.
Mayor Rick Meehan was also cheerful over the fireworks downtown.
“The shows were a little bit different, but I thought they were both great shows. All I know is when the show was over, there was a loud round of applause on the beach, and I think that is what is most important — that all of our visitors and those who come into Ocean City just to see the fireworks are entertained and have a good time,” he said.