Resort’s Holiday Fireworks Letdown Explained

Resort’s Holiday Fireworks Letdown Explained

OCEAN CITY — The fizzle instead of dazzle behind Ocean City’s Fourth of July fireworks shows was explained this week and the city is now seeking compensation for the snafu.

It was no secret the town-sponsored fireworks shows downtown and at Northside Park this month lacked their typical punch and left residents and visitors wanting more. Particularly flat were the big finales of the holiday fireworks shows, which were less than spectacular by most accounts.

During Monday’s Mayor and Council meeting, Councilman Wayne Hartman broached the subject and questioned if there had been any reason determined for the rather lackluster fireworks displays this year.

“I want to mention the Fourth of July fireworks,” he said. “We’re hearing the fireworks didn’t seem to be quite as spectacular as they have in the past.”

Hartman said the apparent problems with the holiday fireworks displays were not limited to the downtown Boardwalk fireworks and also included the Northside Park show. It’s important to note to town contracts a private company to put on the Fourth of July fireworks shows, which is different than the weekly shows throughout the summer.

“They weren’t as good as everybody anticipated,” he said. “We had some things that did not go off for whatever reasons both downtown and at Northside Park. I think we need to look at different options as we move forward.”

City Manager Doug Miller explained there were problems with the pyrotechnic devices themselves including labeling issues.

“The failure of the finale at the Fourth of July fireworks shows was due to products that were mislabeled in terms of the fuses,” he said. “They had the same problem in Dundalk as we did here.”

The Dundalk Heritage Fair Association issued a statement following that community’s failed Fourth fireworks.

“On July 4 during the grand finale, there was a manufacturing defect in the fuse of the fireworks,” the statement reads. “At the time, nothing could be done to prevent or protect the fireworks. Each firework had to be manually lit, which is extremely dangerous and had to be relit over and over due to the fuse problems.”

Miller said on Monday that Special Events Director Frank Miller was working with the company on some kind of compensation.

“Frank Miller has been in contact with our contractor and has put out options for them to somehow make it up to us,” he said. “I’ll give you a full report when we learn what those options are.”

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.