The small bang theory: fireworks postponed

Daniel MacEachern
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Technical difficulties meant the City of St. John’s couldn’t start 2011 off with a bang.

The city’s fireworks display fizzled early this morning, but has been postponed until tonight at 7 p.m. at Quidi Vidi Lake, weather permitting.

“Fireworks nowadays are fired electronically, so they’re all wired into a computer board,” said Bernadette Walsh, the city’s special projects officer, late this morning. “From what I understand from our pyrotechnician, everything was a go. They tested the board before we used it. It was fine for our test shot at 11:55, and fine for the beginning of the show, but for some reason, one part of the circuitry just — I don’t know the technical word for it — just kind of blew or fried.”

The city made a couple of attempts to see if there was enough circuitry left to fire off the rest of the show, with no success. By about 12:25, with the crowds getting cold, the city decided to postpone the display.

“It’s impossible to do a manual firing of the show, if you’re set up for electronic,” said Walsh. “It’s not a matter of hitching a flare to the bottom of a stick and lighting it up. There’s a different configuration.”

The city’s second attempt tonight at 7 p.m. on Quidi Vidi Lake will be dependent on conditions, cautioned Walsh. Environment Canada issued a heavy wind warning early this morning, but as of noon, conditions seemed good for the display to go ahead. Residents can call 311 to check with the city to see if the show is a go for tonight.

Organizations: Environment Canada

Geographic location: Quidi Vidi Lake

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Recent comments

  • Mike
    January 01, 2011 - 16:38

    I heard someone went to check on the fireworks when the were having difficulty and one went off on him and he was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

  • Dana
    January 01, 2011 - 14:50

    They decided at 12:25 this morning to post pone the fireworks? What I would like to know is how come this was not announced at the fireworks......myself, my boyfriend and a couple of friends of ours were down there until 12:35 before we went home......

  • big tax payer
    January 01, 2011 - 14:16

    The usual incompetent city way to do things.Lots of overtime today. The workers are almost as bad as the useless members of council who only bottom feed from our every tax dollar. I cannot wait to vote again as that crowd is incompetent history

  • Bill Crosby
    January 01, 2011 - 13:05

    What a bunch of clowns! This city just keeps getting more foolish by the day.

  • Katy
    January 01, 2011 - 12:41

    'Pyrotechnician'?? Is this yet another example of the City handing a specialized technical job to someone with an aptitude and interest, but zero training? Or is it an example of council putting out a tender for the lowest bidder, and getting exactly that? It's hard to believe a well-trained pyrotechnician operating the board for the first New Year's Eve fireworks display in North America would have depended on only one computer/circuit/board. Can you picture this happening in Halifax? Once again, St. John's is a laughingstock, and this time it was nationally broadcast. Then they wonder why other municipalities don't want to amalgamate with St. John's!