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Big Bay Boom Promises Not To Be A Bust This Year

The San Diego Port District estimates up to half a million people will watch tonight's Big Bay fireworks show that starts at 9 p.m.. Expectations are high after the show over San Diego Bay went spectacularly wrong last year, as 15 minutes of fireworks went up in 30 seconds.

Aired 7/4/13 on KPBS News.

Expectations are high for tonight's Big Bay fireworks display. The show over San Diego Bay went spectacularly wrong last year, as 15 minutes of fireworks went up in 30 seconds. Garden State is taking steps to make sure that does not happen again.

4th of July Fireworks light up the sky over San Diego Bay.
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Above: 4th of July Fireworks light up the sky over San Diego Bay.

August Santore Jr. of Garden State, the father and son company that puts on the show said the company is taking extra precautions this year.

“We’re taking all of our precautions that we’ve always done,” he said, speaking from a barge in San Diego Bay where he was setting up the show with his team. ”We’re also going to run some active checks that are disconnected from the fireworks — maybe quadruple or quintuple checks — because we checked for a very, very long time last year and were as surprised as anyone when the situation occurred with the computer file.”

A computer glitch apparently caused last year's fiasco.

Santore said his family has been running fireworks shows for 123 years and they’re determined to set the record straight with a good show this year. The Big Bay Boom is one of the top 20 fireworks shows in the nation, he said.

Garden State will give the Port District a $125,000 break this year: the value of last year’s show. What’s more, the program will be a little longer than the show planned last year, which was supposed to be about 15 minutes long. Tonight’s program is planned to last more than 18 minutes.

A team of people have been working out on four barges in the bay since the end of June, setting up the fireworks. But Santore said he started working on the show last October, picking the music and planning a light show to synchronize with it.

The show starts at 9 p.m. You can get a good view from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, the Embarcadero or Seaport Village.

However, parking will likely fill up by early afternoon. There are free shuttles from Point Loma and the Port District parking lot on Pacific Highway starting at 6 p.m.

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