Port saves 4th of July Fireworks

Camping spots to be used to stage display

May 4, 2019 — Florence’s Fourth of July Fireworks celebration will take place as originally planned, due to a major effort made by the Port of Siuslaw and Port Manager David Huntington.

Florence Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bettina Hannigan said she is extremely pleased that a solution to the logistical problems surrounding this years’ celebration has been reached.

“It is my great pleasure to announce that the Port of Siuslaw is now the home of the 2019 Fireworks Launch!” Hannigan announced. “Without a barge the chamber was at a loss for how to provide fireworks this year. With heartfelt thanks to the Port of Siuslaw, Florence is now a go for our amazing fireworks program on July 4. David Huntington and his team have not only made it happen, they’ve saved the day.”

This year’s fireworks display on the Siuslaw River was in serious jeopardy due to the lack of a suitable, legal location from which to launch the Independence Day pyrotechnics. The barge that had been used for this purpose the past two years has been sold and relocated.

Huntington has been working with Hannigan to craft some type of solution for the logistical problems  that were threatening the display.

“It didn’t look like, with the barge leaving, the fireworks were going to happen at all,” Huntington said. “Bettina and I have been keeping in contact during the past couple of weeks and we offered up the spare docks we have here at the port if there was any they could use them.”

Unfortunately, the prospect of having necessary modifications made to the docks and have them inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard in time for the celebration was unlikely to occur, so Huntington pursued other options.

“We made the decision yesterday to ask our campers if they would be willing to move, because our only option is to open up the C-Row to stage the fireworks,” Huntington said. “It went well, as I think most people were understanding. The way it was looking, if we couldn’t get our customers from C-Row to agree to move, the fireworks were not going to happen at all this year.”

The decision to speak with campers with booked reservations came from a staff meeting Huntington held to discuss possible solutions for what was turning into a serious concern about the fireworks happening at all.

“This is something we discussed as a staff because it puts a lot of extra work on them,” Huntington said. “I’m not the one making the calls — and the idea to move everyone to the parking lot was actually Kelly’s idea, and that was what really made this possible.”

Now that the fireworks display is moving ahead, there are still opportunities for businesses and individuals to support the event, Hannigan said.

“I have delayed fundraising for the fireworks because I wasn’t sure we were a go. Now that we are, I’m playing catch up,” she said. “We have a fantastic Fireworks Sponsor Package available and we are also receiving contributions here. The fireworks cost the chamber over $17,000 and we depend on chamber members and our community to help financially support this wonderful tradition. Please join with us so we can continue to kick of the summer season with a bang!”

For more information, visit florencechamber.com.


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