Despite just a drizzle the night of July 4, the Takoma Park fireworks display was canceled just 15 minutes before it was about to start. The reason given to residents by emcee Howard Kohn was rain, but it ended up that wasn't the main reason.
"The announcement to the crowd was that we were postponing the fireworks display because of the weather," said Ward 4 Councilman Terry Seamens in an email to Takoma Park Patch.
"Some of us feared that a more complete description of our problems would have just elevated concerns among those residents who came for the show. We felt that people would better understand a weather problem. There was an approaching storm, and we had felt a few drops of rain just prior to our announcement."
It was later acknowledged that the reason for the postponement was that the company who was putting on the show, Bay Fireworks, was late, Takoma Park Independence Day Committee President Gene Herman said. Note: The committee is not a government entity.
Herman said the announcement should have only been about the company being late and that weather was not the main factor. This was the first year the committee took bids for the fireworks contract, Herman said, and the company was chosen because the committee thought it would put on the best show.
"We're not likely to use the company next year," he said.
Bay Fireworks, based out of Farmingdale, N.Y., did not immediately respond to requests for comment as to why they were late in getting to Takoma Park.
Residents were not only confused but also disappointed that there was little communication afterward about when the fireworks would be rescheduled.
"It was nice to see them the next night, but if not for a Google search on 'fireworks Takoma Park' the next day from work, I would probably have missed those, too," April Kissel, a Takoma Park resident, commented on Takoma Park Patch.
"There was no concerted effort [to get the word out about the rescheduling]," Seamens said. "We posted it on the committee website. Some committee members also sent e-mails to individuals and listservs."
Seamens said he's meeting with the committee to discuss developing a contingency plan that better prepares them for future problems.
We have some more calls out, so check back for updates on this story.