Independence Day has come and gone…about as quickly as the Hilo Fireworks Show on the 4th of July. I was not in attendance due to a prior engagement but Iʻd heard enough testimony over the failed event. Allegedly, hundreds of avid celebrants packed the shores of Hilo Bay in anticipation of a show promised to be the highlight of the summer, only to be disappointed by a “computer glitch” that left many in the community dismayed.
Iʻve been a Hawaiʻi Island resident for over a year now. I can attest that an event like the 4th of July Fireworks Show gives the community a sense of inclusion. Being from Oʻahu, there are many shows and events to choose from that you may not find on the Eastern shores of Hawaiʻi Island. People arrive by the droves to enjoy an afternoon of cooking competitions, live music, vendor and food booths, general activities, or just some basic local “shoot the cruise” with friends and family. And the climax of this holiday celebration is the fireworks show.
Revelers gathered in perfect viewing spots as 8:00 pm arrived. No one knew that the show would not start until 8:45 pm. Some people I know with young children packed up and went home, entirely missing the show all together. Or did they? For the faithful that remained, the show did happen, but it was shorter than 10 minutes. Approximately 7-8 minutes without a grand finale. I can only imagine the negative energy that mustʻve emulated from that crowd as they stared into the night sky over Hilo Bay…hoping that it wasnʻt over yet.
Donald Pascual of Hawaiʻi Explosives and Pyrotechnics had issued a public statement that the new computer equipment they were using, had a glitch that night. With over 30 years of operation in Hawaiʻi and across the South Pacific without incident, it is feasible to consider his explanation. But how will that remedy the sour emotions of the Hilo community?
If you were an attendee or didnʻt get a chance to make it out to the short lived fireworks show…another chance is on the horizon. Hawaiʻi County has announced that they will host a “make-up” show in late August under the banner of an “end of summer” celebration. The exact date is still in negotiations but the news bodes well for the countless families whom felt duped by the failed 4th of July show. I just love when a plan comes together!! Hope to see yaʻll there!!