Commonwealth Journal

News Live

July 10, 2013

SomerBlast a success despite rain

Spectators treated to hour-long fireworks show

(Continued)

Somerset —

Girdler referenced an incident from San Diego last year where an entire show’s worth of fireworks exploded simultaneously in a matter of seconds thanks to a computer glitch as the kind of thing he was hoping to avoid.
As such, the technicians had to do it all by hand — and that meant a longer fireworks show due to the extra effort.
“As they set off each type, they had to have people load the other sections, set those off, then come back and repeat the process,” said Girdler. “They had to manually load every one by different sizes, then try to do a pattern to synchronize them.
“At least there was an alternative,” he added. “The operators were gracious enough to switch the process to set them off.”
Girdler said he discussed the possibility of contingency plans — specifically, postponing the event to Sunday or Monday — with water park management on Saturday morning, but ultimately, the decision was made to keep it on Saturday, wet weather or no.
“A lot of people object to the fireworks on Sunday because of church,” he said. “The problem you run into is rescheduling bands that had to play because of commitments.
“We had a contingency plan, but it was just the way the Fourth fell,” he added as to why the city kept things as-was. “”It was the best alternative we had. ... You can’t predict the weather.”
Girdler said he’s received a lot of positive comments — some confusion over why the fireworks were long, but plenty of compliments on their beauty, and appreciation for leaving the water park open for people to enjoy, despite all the extra wet stuff coming from the sky.
“We made a decision on whether or not there would be lightning that would be a danger to anyone,” he said. “We determined there to be no lightning so we made the decision (to keep plans the same).

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