Fireworks halt is explained
Published: Thursday, July 11th, 2013
A faulty cable is blamed for a malfunction that caused a 10-15 minute pause in the middle of the annual Custer fireworks display at Pageant Hill.
Mayor Gary Lipp, who was serving in his role with the Custer Volunteer Fire Department by assisting with the display on the hill, said the cord that was supposed to set off the second section of the show went bad, even through everything was fine when the cords were tested prior to the show.
There were two technicians from the company that was contracted to put on the show, Pyrotechnic Display, Inc., on site. The show was done through computerization for the first time this year. The show cost $7,000 to put on, which was funded by both the city and the fire department.
“When it came time to ignite, it wouldn’t ignite,” Lipp said.
Eventually, technicians used the cord from the first set of fireworks to set off the second set, but by that time, some people throughout town thought the show was over and began to disperse. An emcee at Pageant Hill announced the show was over when the interruption happened, but was quickly informed by those on the hill that the show would resume when the problem was located.
“The first part worked perfectly,” Lipp said. “They (Pyrotechnic Inc. employees) were getting pretty panicky (about the malfunction). They felt really bad, because they were trying to make a big impression.”
Lipp said he was disappointed for those who left and missed the second part of the show, but believes those who left were outnumbered by those who stuck around, judging by the massive amount of traffic the fireworks generated in town.
“People were gathering anywhere you could put somebody,” he said.
Lipp said Pyrotechnic Display, Inc. came highly recommended, and he felt overall, the display was a great one, despite the delay.
“That’s just the way electronics work. I have a computer here. Some days it doesn’t work,” he said. “It’s not easy to figure out exactly what (the problem) is.”
Lipp said the city will more than likely seek and receive some compensation from the company over the delay.
“We’ll just ask them to throw in a few more shells next year,” he said.
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