Is there anything more American than flashing lights and nearly 1,000 explosions? At the Feb. 6 Gulfport City Council meeting, the council approved Resolution 2024-10, setting the plan for this year’s July 4 fireworks display.
The 20-minute display will take place at 9 p.m. on the Fourth of July, and consists of 943 total shells, with 272 during the opening, 330 in the middle, and 341 in the finale. Pyro Productions of Alabama will provide the fireworks and materials necessary.
Fireworks displays are a lot more work than just lighting fuses. The fireworks will launch from Williams Pier, which will close at 9 a.m. on July 3 to prepare. At 9 p.m. the City will set a no boat or anchoring zone with a 900-foot radius around Williams Pier. The City requires that all boats and vessels are removed from that area. If they aren’t removed by the owner, City staff will begin removal at 6 a.m. on July 4.
Fireworks are well known to be loud and pollutive, often disrupting pets and local wildlife. Because of this, Councilmember April Thanos (Ward I) asked the City about the cost and viability of a drone light show. The cost for the fireworks display is $30,870.
According to Justin Shea, the cultural facilities events supervisor, drone shows can be significantly more expensive. Also, a drone show is a 2D display, and there isn’t a viable place to launch the drones from. The Council asked about a New Year’s fireworks display, but City Manager Jim O’Reilly told them they didn’t approve it in the budget.
Resolution 2024-10 passed unanimously.
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