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Woodinville fireworks celebrate the Fourth

fireworks finale

More than 15,000 spectators throughout the Sammamish Valley cheered for the 200-shot grand finale of Woodinville's second annual fireworks show at the J.B. Sod Farm.
Photo by Jeff Switzer/Woodinville Weekly.

fireworks show by Jeff Switzer
With a turnout estimated at 20,000, Woodinville's second annual fireworks display has been declared a smashing success, with a flashier, slightly longer show and a smoother exit for spectators, all beneath a gorgeous night scale.
   "It was wonderful again," said Lane Youngblood, Public Services assistant for the city. "It's a lot of fun to have a big party and have everybody have a good time."
   More than 1,100 people took advantage of the express shuttles: long Metro buses with priority both to and from the J.B. Sod Farm. Parking was prohibited along the roads near the wineries, giving pedestrians and drivers an easier time exiting (everyone was gone within 25 minutes), and there were more than 50 sani-cans on site, as well as more food and booths.
   "I think this is a true sign that the community of Woodinville has arrived," said resident Nick Brown, who watched the show from the J.B. Sod Farm this year and from above the Hollywood Hill ridge last year. "It was much better being there."
   The show lasted 19 minutes--two minutes longer than last year's--and a 200-shot finale was included in the 500-shot show.
   "We've done shows at Key Arena and the Rose Garden, and this has to be the neatest site," said Ken Julian, head pyrotechnician with Pyrospectaculars Northwest. "The grass field and the spirit here is really neat."
   Julian and his wife, Judy, have been providing shows for five years in Washington and Oregon and were also responsible for last year's show in the valley. Their crew numbered 15 and preparation began at 8:30 a.m. for the 10:30 p.m. show.
   According to Julian, there was more color, bigger materials, and prettier special effects this year, planning for which took several months of work with the sponsors.
   "[Judy and I] look at what we do as a special type of art that is difficult to portray any other way," Julian said. "When you hear the 'oohs' and 'ahhs' from the adults and see the twinkle in the little kids' eyes; when you hear the roar of the crowd at the end, you know you've done your job."
   Judy Julian says they get to visit communities and festivals they never would have thought of going to. "But nothing is better than standing underneath and getting dripped on by the show," she said. "Under the shell, it's a different perspective; you almost want to cry."
   City staff said the show went off without a hitch, and the efforts of the sponsors, coordination with the dinner train, and the new traffic plan all contributed to the success.
   Following in the footsteps of last year's show, there was only one incident at the site, though Sgt. Krogh's windshield remained intact (unlike last year when somebody threw a rock through it.) A 19-year-old who had been drinking alcohol shot off a mortar-type firework in close quarters as the crowd was leaving. Police released him to his parents.
   The fire department indicated they had no incidents on the Fourth, though they did respond to a grass fire on July 2 caused by a bottle rocket.
   Items left at the show can be picked up at City Hall (489-2700).