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AUGUST 25, 1997

Local News

City settles after fireworks disappointment

  Next year bigger, better show, officials vow
   by Andrew Walgamott
   WOODINVILLE--The city won't be contracting for fireworks again with Infinity Visions after a less than spectacular Fourth of July pyrotechnics show.
   A settlement was also reached between Woodinville and the company over payment for the show. According to Lane Youngblood, parks and recreation director, the city will only pay for fireworks that went off, roughly $10,000 of the $14,000 Infinity Visions was contracted for. Attorneys had been hashing out a settlement in the past few weeks.
   Youngblood said the city was unhappy paying for the show, but added there was "no 'complete disappointment' clause" in the fireworks' contract with the company.
   More than 17,000 gathered at J.B. Instant Lawn and 5,000 more were nearby to watch Woodinville's third annual fireworks extravaganza this July 4.
   But the show was halted before it began by a short in the wiring to the fireworks' firing board which resulted in a 15 minute wait, "and that put the whole show out of sync," Youngblood said. The short affected explosives supporting center shells. Without them, the show appeared bare.
   Technicians scrambled to get the show going again, but according to Youngblood, coordination with music from Classic KING FM was off by approximately 8 seconds at the finale. "We won't even consider this pyrotechnician for any future work," Youngblood said.
   The city has since apologized to sponsors Columbia Winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Redhook Brewery, J.B. Instant Lawn, Classic KING FM and the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra.
   Other than the fireworks' flop, the afternoon went well. Two shuttle buses from Metro transported more than 6,000 festival-goers on a round trip from Woodinville and Kingsgate to the fireworks site.
   Many enjoyed the free concert by the orchestra. "All in all the event was very successful," Youngblood said. Next year will be bigger and better than ever, she promises. "It'll be really important for us to have a lot of firepower out there, to bring people back," Youngblood said.