The Fourth of July fireworks display at West Beach in Santa Barbara experienced some technical difficulties that left many spectators wanting more.
Some of the fireworks were already obscured by fog, and after about fifteen minutes the show abruptly stopped.
Santa Barbara City Fire Inspector Gina Sunseri was overseeing “Bay Fireworks”, the company behind the pyrotechnics. She was on scene when the problems started. She said, “We had a little technical difficulty. The show is electronically fired. So, one of the wires got exposed. The embers were falling down, burned the wire and shorted out the show.”
The crowds were puzzled too. Santa Barbara resident Barbara Scharf said, “It was a little bit foggy and we thought the fireworks were disappearing into the fog. After about 20 minutes people started to get up to leave because there were no more fireworks. It didn’t seem like there was a finale.”
It took Sunseri and workers several minutes to figure out what happened. Sunseri said, “By that time a lot of people were leaving the beach, because they thought the show was over and boats were coming into the harbor channel.”
Fifteen minutes later, they thought the problem was fixed and the harbor was clear of boats again. So they decided to fire off the last 300 shells, instead of packaging them and shipping them back.
The show’s finale happened during the second take. But, another technical glitch stopped the show again before the last rounds were fired off.
Sunseri said, “One of the modules got disconnected from the rest of the show. At that point, we’d had enough with the mishaps and we stopped the show.”
While some people were upset, most locals still enjoyed the fireworks. Scharf said, “It was still very festive and we had a wonderful time with the community.”
People from out of town were happy with the show too. Brian Fox of Santa Cruz said, ” We were fine. Then it started up again and it was like a bonus. But, for those people that had left, probably not, but for me it was great.”