July Fourth fireworks are called off twice, and will not be rescheduled


Friends of Freeport members and their families lined up at Party Boat Central, off Woodcleft Avenue on the Nautical Mile, to board Miss Freeport on June 29. The group chatted excitedly about seeing the village’s July Fourth fireworks from the water — front seats for the colorful pyrotechnic exhibit.

About half an hour later, however, Friends of Freeport President Lois Howes announced to the attendees that the fireworks had been called off due to the windy weather. The crew was disappointed, but made the best of it by cruising the Nautical Mile as the sun set. “The good news,” Howes said after it was decided that the show had been rescheduled for July 6, “is we’ll all be able to come back and board the boat to watch the fireworks next Thursday.”

Pyrotecnico, a company known for its work at this year’s Super Bowl and last year’s Pittsburgh Bicentennial, stages the annual fireworks at Sea Breeze Park. This year, the show seemed to be jinxed. Early in the afternoon of July 6, Ivan Sayles, president of the Freeport Chamber of Commerce, and Howes announced on Friends of Freeport’s Facebook page that it had been called off for the second time.

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the truck with the fireworks broke down and they can’t get here in time to set up,” Howes said. “Unfortunately, the fireworks are canceled.”

Restaurants on the Nautical Mile had promised free food for children, and local bands were scheduled to play. But visitors were left to mill about Woodcleft Avenue and enjoy the nice weather, on a much quieter night than many had hoped for.

As this week’s Herald went to press, the display had not been rescheduled.

Sayles, who has overseen the fireworks show since its inception in 2013 said that the 20-minute display took a lot of planning and support from the village, the chamber and the community. “At this point, I believe that all involved in this project have gone above and beyond to make it happen,” he said, appearing as disappointed as anyone. “I want to thank everyone involved. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Thank you for understanding.”