OC Mulls Modernized Fireworks Show For Downtown’s Fourth Of July Celebration

A screen shot of a Kent State University fireworks show is pictured from a video on the American Fireworks company's website.

OCEAN CITY – A fresh spark may come to the 4th of July fireworks show downtown this summer as the new Caroline Street Comfort Station opens an opportunity to test out a “pyromusical” display.

The Recreation and Parks Department’s Special Events division has been working to bring new and exciting events to Ocean City as well as modernizing current events, such as the 4th of July Fireworks downtown.

“Northside Park is going to remain a traditional fireworks show similar to what we have done in the past many years with music playing along with the fireworks but it is not necessarily set to the fireworks,” Special Events Superintendent Frank Miller said. “Whereas downtown will be a more modernized production by the same company, American Fireworks, where we will have large fireworks but only up to five-inch shells instead of the six-inch shells, and we will also have lower height fireworks, to which they refer to as ‘cakes’ and closer proximity fireworks. All of those together will be set up to music so the actual production should be a lot more entertaining for the crowd that will be watching north/south of it and from the Boardwalk.”

Miller explained with the new Caroline Street Comfort Station being in close proximity to the launch location, which is south of the stage on the beach, switching to a maximum shell size of five inches provides a new opportunity to add to the show.

“It allows us to do the concert that happens prior to the fireworks on the new Caroline Street Stage. The Caroline Street Stage is a little farther south than where we typically set up, and if we went with six-inch shells it would be within the safety radius and we wouldn’t be able to put a crowd in front of the Caroline Street Stage,” Miller said.

The Caroline Street Comfort Station faces the ocean, so viewers will be able to sit on the beach and watch the concert on the stage as well as remain on the beach to watch the fireworks.

“We have an opportunity to try something new and this is a good opportunity to test it,” Miller said. “American Fireworks has been saying we need to consider it, and the Caroline Street stage proximity to the fireworks launch station, and the logistical issue of five-inch verse six-inch shells allows us to say ‘hey, since we are going to have to look at using five-inch shells let’s look at enhancing the show with closer proximity and cake-style fireworks as well’.”

According to American Fireworks, a pyromusical display is a “concert in the sky,” utilizing the most advanced digital, computerized firing system to produce a highly-choreographed, breathtaking display. As the beats of the music begin to pump into the air, an electrifying experience will be created from the opening barrage to the thundering conclusion.

The company creates incredible visual effects in perfect synchronization with a musical soundtrack. The result is a spectacular show that will astound, according to the company.

For more information or to view a video of American Fireworks pyromusical display, visit www.americanfireworks.com.

Miller will be presenting the concept to the Mayor and City Council in the near future. He is currently in the process of submitting permits to the U.S. Coast Guard for approval.

Ocean City is currently in its third year with a three-year contract with American Fireworks. The cost of the show will not change.

In March of 2012, the council voted to enter into a three-year contract with American Fireworks after the company came in as the lowest bidder to provide both fireworks displays in Ocean City on 4th of July at Northside Park and downtown.

The estimated amount for the shows was $62,000, and American Fireworks submitted a bid in the amount of $20,000 for each show, totaling $40,000. The bid just beat Ocean City’s prior fireworks provider, Zambelli’s, who bid $28,750 per show.



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