No Fourth of July Fireworks for Imperial Beach This Year

2a98c99c7d70e4caed646481ea348837-1Published June 26, 2013 by Imperial Beach Patch.

Imperial Beach will not be part of the Big Bay Boom Fourth of July fireworks show this year, according to the event’s Executive Director Sandy Purdon.

The show will continue in San Diego Bay where fireworks are launched from four barges north of the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge.

An apparent computer mishap led 15 minutes of fireworks to simultaneously go off in less than 30 seconds on the Imperial Beach Pier and in San Diego Bay last year. To make up for the mishap, Garden State Fireworks, the New Jersey company who handled the pyrotechnics, donated $125,000 worth of fireworks to this year’s show.

However in its review of the 2012-13 budget in June 2012 the Imperial Beach City Council decided not to provide roughly $30,000 needed for overtime and emergency police and fire services.

“I do know it was discussed a couple times during the budget talks and during that time the majority of the council decided not to contribute to fireworks so it was really a matter of budget restraints,” said Assistant City Manager Greg Wade.

City Council again considered the idea of funding fireworks in December but Councilmembers failed to reach consensus on the matter.

A study by Point Loma Nazarene University economists released earlier this year found that the Big Bay Boom has a $10.6 million economic impact for the region.

Results were not broken down for individual cities and an economic impact in Imperial Beach was not evident in sales tax data, said City Manager Gary Brown.

With the loss of fireworks and the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition, Imperial Beach lost its two biggest annual events in 2011 and 2012.

Hundreds of thousands of people came to IB for the sandcastle competition until it came to an end in 2011. Lifeguards estimate that 80,000 people visited the IB shoreline on July 4, 2012.

A volunteer committee working with the Port of San Diego will host the Sun & Sea Festival Sunday in an effort to bring sandcastles back but the city’s budget does not set aside funding for fireworks in 2014 or 2015.

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