Keeping that Barge Steady!

StarMarineTugsDid you ever wonder how we keep the fireworks barge from swinging with the tide – bumping into other boats – or grounded on the beach during the show? It is actually a pretty delicate process given no anchoring of any kind is permitted in the Wyckoff/Eagle Harbor Superfund site (see: http://www.biparks.org/parksandfacilities/pkpritchard.html for more information).

Thanks to Star Marine, the barge is held on station during the show by some pretty brave tug boat captains. Global positioning devices make sure the barge stays put and the crowd stays safe. So, when you are watching the show, think about the show the captain and crew of these tug  boats are seeing.

Thanks again to Star Marine for keeping the show safe!

StarMarineLogo

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Fundraising continues for Bainbridge Island fireworks show

By RICHARD D. OXLEY
Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer
June 6, 2013 · 1:30 PM

Perhaps just as famous as Bainbridge Island’s Fourth of July parade is its patriotic fireworks show that lights up the sky over Eagle Harbor each year.

A group of islanders are steadily working toward keeping up the tradition, but they need the community’s help. More specifically, financial help.

“Our display is put on by the community, for the community. We are proud to say that,” said Scott Isenman with Bainbridge Fireworks, the nonprofit that has organized the show for five years.

“We have no one major sponsor, but rather, our funds come from across the community,” he said.

The show comes with a $25,000 price tag. So far the nonprofit has raised $15,000 and is asking the community to help close the gap.

Collection jars have popped up around town at island shops and cafes such as Pegasus and the Madison Diner. Islanders can also donate directly through the organization’s website at www.bainbridgefireworks.org.

Accounts at Chase Bank and American West Bank have also been established for contributions.

Much of the work and equipment comes from volunteers and in-kind services, so the money goes to paying for the product itself.

Robert Nitz with Halo Fireworks performs the fiery display for the love of the craft. In fact, after a freak accident destroyed all the fireworks for Pouslbo and Bainbridge Island last year, Nitz stepped up and covered the cost of the lost fireworks out of his own pocket.

If all goes as planned, Eagle Harbor will once again see the sky set ablaze on July 4. Organizers plan to tow a fireworks barge by tugboat into the harbor and broadcast a patriotic soundtrack on an AM station for the show. It should prove to continue the island’s most spectacular tradition.

“I believe the fireworks display over the harbor has really become an iconic part of the island’s identity for the Fourth of July,” Isenman said.

“We get lots of words of encouragement and thanks in the days following the show, but the immediate gratification comes as the final echoes of the show end and then we hear the echoing of cheering and horns all over the harbor,” he said.

Contact Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer Richard D. Oxley at roxley@bainbridgereview.com or (206) 842-6613.

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The 2013 Fourth of July Fireworks Show is on for its 5th Year!

Robert Nitz standing by to launch the fireworks

Once again Halo Fireworks, LLC (formerly Aurora Fireworks) will be putting on their fantastic display from the comfort of beautiful Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island Washington. As you may remember, last year’s Bainbridge Island and Liberty Bay shows were nearly cancelled due to an explosion of the fireworks container in Belfair Washington – but with Robert Nitz’s determination to make sure the shows go on, he gathered all of his resources and – along with an outpouring of community response – was able to rescue both shows. There was a bit of that American “can do” Spirit that went along with the show last year – which made it even more special !

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Tom Douglas asks local businesses to fund Lake Union fireworks

by KING 5 News –     Source

Seattle’s Tom Douglas hopes that local businesses can come together to save the Family 4th at Lake Union fireworks show.

Image of the Seattle Fourth of July fireworksThe idea started in an interview on the Bob Rivers radio show. Now Douglas is asking for 98 local businesses to donate $5,000 each to cover the cost of the show. He has already donated $5,000 and is willing to put in $5,000 more.

“I think sometimes we forget the value of coming together as a community and what the Fourth of July actually means that way,” Douglas said.

Yesterday, One Reel, which produces the annual show, said they hadn’t raised enough money to put on the fireworks display on Lake Union.

The $500,000 price tag for the Fourth of July fireworks includes more than just the cost of fireworks. Douglas explained the logistics of the event include security, porta potties, clean-up, and cost around $300,000.

“We’d need 98 more businesses to jump in,” Douglas said. “I don’t know; it might be too late. This thing takes a lot of advance planning, but if there is a way I think we should try to get on it and make it happen. It’s a community thing–we own it. It’s the peoples’ fireworks.”

Douglas acknowledged there are larger issues in our community, with many people lacking in basic necessities, such as enough food to eat.

“I’m on the board of Food Lifeline,” said Douglas. “I’m trying to raise $20 million so we can more efficiently feed hungry people in Western Washington. It’s hard to justify sometimes when you talk about blowing up paper.

But Douglas hopes we can do both, that Seattle businesses can come together in the community to end the annual struggle to fund the Fourth of July fireworks.

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Kind thoughts from “One Reel” (Lake Union Fireworks Show).

We received this nice letter from Jon Stone, Executive Director of “One Reel” whose organization runs the Lake Union Fireworks Show for the past 24 years. His letter touched our hearts and inspired us — but it also embodies “EXACTLY” why we do this every year. Thanks Jon (and all of your volunteers) for reaching out to your community and your neighbors!

Tim Longley
VP BFW, Web Master


 Hello. My name is Jon and my organization has produced the Family 4th celebration on Lake Union for the past 24 years. I just this evening read of the explosion that destroyed your pyro stockpile. My heart sank and I felt sick. I searched to find contact info for you to see if there was anything we could do to help at this late date. I then discovered that you had recouped most of the product and solicited ample donations. My spirit was lifted. I felt compelled to write this quick note.
I believe that Independence Day is a vital community celebration as it is our most inclusive holiday. It doesn’t care about your background or demographics. It’s the one day when everyone can come together and simply agree that we are all blessed to be Americans. Our communities need more days like Independence Day.
As the leader of my organization for the past two years I am also keenly aware of the challenges in producing a free community event in the current economy. It does not matter if your event budget is $10k, $100k or more… it is a brutal environment in which to raise funds. These events are always a labor of love but the economy of recent years and shifting social factors have made it so difficult as to cause many such events to fold and most producers to question their commitment.
Our event has certainly seen challenges in recent years, but nothing as stunning as what you have just been through. I salute your perseverance, and I thank you for giving such a vital gift to your community. You inspire me.
Please let us know if there is still anything we could possibly do to help, and I wish you a happy holiday and a safe show.
Best,
Jon
– Jon Stone
Executive Director
One Reel
206-673-5060 ext 227
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Despite Explosion, Bainbridge Fireworks Show’s a Go

Inside Bainbridge Logo

by Sarah Lane Inside Bainbridge

Scott Isenman, the leader of Bainbridge Fireworks, the group that organizes the Eagle Harbor Fireworks-Jeff Goldenfireworks display each year, says that, even though their entire computer-controlled and music-synchronized $20,000 collection blew up in its Belfair storage container yesterday morning, the show is going ahead full-blast. The reason is that the owner of Aurora Fireworks, the company that designs and puts on the display each year, is dipping into his own pockets to replace the Bainbridge and Poulsbo shows, both of which were destroyed, to the tune of $40,000.

The accident, which happened at 1 a.m. Monday, was the result of a stray gunshot. The owner of the wrecking yard where the fireworks are stored in containers was shooting at targets with his adult daughter when a ricochet struck the container and set off the chain of explosions. He called 911 to report the incident.

Isenman told me that the original Bainbridge display is still not paid for as his organization continues to raise money from individual and business donations. So far they have raised $14,000. To support the fireworks, visit the Bainbridge Fireworks website. You can donate via PayPal through the website, in-person at America West Bank (formerly Viking), or in donation jars such as at ACE, San Carlos, Madison Diner, and Doc’s. Volunteers will be collecting at T&C on Wednesday and Saturday this week.

Photo by Jeff Golden.

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UPDATE | Belfair explosion torched fireworks for Bainbridge Island’s July 4th show

By RICHARD D. OXLEY Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer June 26, 2012 · 10:28 AM      

A quiet Belfair evening erupted into a ball of fire Sunday. But while firefighters were able to put out the flames, the impact of the blaze has stretched all the way to Bainbridge Island.

The ball of fire was from an exploding shipping container. Within it were large fireworks intended for Bainbridge Island’s Independence Day show, and all the fireworks were destroyed.

The fire was caused by employees who were shooting at targets at Belfair Auto Wrecking, where the fireworks container was stored. One round ignited the fireworks inside the container and caused an extremely large explosion that sprouted other fires in the area.

Bainbridge wasn’t alone in the loss. Fireworks for the Liberty Bay show in Pouslbo were also destroyed.

Despite the tragedy, the show will go on, said Scott Isenman of Bainbridge Fireworks.

Isenman didn’t initially think that the explosion would hit so close to home.

“I saw the report of the explosion on the early morning news and thought ‘Wow,'” Isenman said.

“A little while later it dawned on me, ‘Could it be?'”

Isenman contact Robert Nitz, Bainbridge’s fireworks artist who puts on the show each year, and Nitz confirmed his fears.

“That storage container was his entire stockpile, not only for our show but the Liberty Bay show,” Isenman said.

Luckily, Nitz’s fireworks supplier will be able to replace the fireworks that went up in flames.

“Being able to replace with almost identical pyrotechnics is important because the show is computer programmed and electronically synchronized to a music soundtrack,” Isenman said.

Nitz did have special-effect fireworks for this year that he imported from China, separate from his main supplier. The explosive device was water-based and can’t be replaced in time for the show.

Bainbridge Fireworks is still seeking donations for the annual show, and are approximately $6,000 short of their funding goal.

Islanders can contribute through their website or at donation cans at various island businesses.

Donations can also be made to Bainbridge Fireworks at American West Bank, located at 921 Hildebrand Lane.

Contact Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer Richard D. Oxley at roxley@bainbridgereview.com or (206) 842-6613.

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Stray bullet in Belfair wrecking yard ignites 2 cities’ worth of fireworks

Article below about the Fireworks Explosion which had Bainbridge Island and Poulsbo fireworks shows inside. The good news is that they are busily replacing all of the fireworks so the show will go on as planned!

Tim Longley
VP Bainbridge Fireworks Org

Kitsap Sun - Printer-friendly story

By Katie Scaff

Monday, June 25, 2012

BELFAIR — Some late-night target practice almost put a hole in two major Fourth of July shows.

The ricocheting bullet set off $30,000 worth of stored fireworks and left a crater-sized hole, but celebration organizers in Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island say the shows will go on.

Image of what is left after fireworks explosion.

Unexpected Wrecking Yard Fireworks Show

According to officials, the owner of Belfair Truck & Auto Wrecking said that he and his daughter were target shooting with a new rifle at around 1 a.m. — setting off a cargo container of fireworks stored on the property.

“He claims he fired at a junk car in the wrecking yard, and the bullet must have ricocheted off that,” said Ron Krell, president of Viking Fest Corp., which puts on the Third of July show in Poulsbo. He described the incident as “one of those one-in-a-million chances.”

“You wouldn’t believe the crater in the earth here from the magazine of fireworks. It woke my wife up — she thought we were having an earthquake,” Mason County Fire District 2 fire investigator Jeromy Hicks said.

“Folks kind of described it as an earthquake feeling,” Fire Chief Beau Bakken said. The blast woke up the firefighters at his station about a half-mile away.

“They thought they’d be responding to something,” Bakken said. “They knew by the seismic activity that something would be coming down the pike.”

Mason’s District 2 and South Kitsap Fire and Rescue responded to the property straddling Mason and Kitsap counties. They found the shipping container on fire, with mortar rounds continuing to go off.

“It was quite the blast. It blew it right off its foundation — in fact it rolled twice,” Bakken said of the container holding the fireworks. “To have that many explosives go up like that that is a first for me — It was something else.”

Fireworks hit junk cars sparking spot fires throughout the property, and a mountain of old tires was set ablaze. A heavy-duty excavator was needed to clear debris and tires so firefighters could get to the flames, which took crews five hours to douse.

None of the fireworks in the cargo container was salvageable, but replacements are on the way and the two local firework shows will continue as planned, according to Aurora Fireworks owner Robert Nitz, who has been contracted to put on the shows for the past few years.

“It’s like everyone’s worst nightmare,” Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce visitor center manager Mickey Molnaire said. “It was pretty much a disaster.”

Nitz, who owns the fireworks, is forced to front the costs of replacement — totaling more than $30,000

“I lost everything. Right now, I’m scrambling to take care of the towns,” Nitz said.

He declined to say whether he would be pressing charges against the owner of the wrecking yard.

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is investigating the explosion because the fire involved commercial fireworks.

Hicks confirmed that a bullet hit the container, sparking the explosions and fire.

“I don’t think there was an intent to do this on purpose,” Hicks said.

The investigation continued into the evening Monday as officials secured the area and waited to interview the wrecking yard owner.

While the bomb squad set off the few fireworks still intact after the morning fires, Nitz got in touch with Wolverine Fireworks.

The Seattle-based wholesale company will be able to replace all of the destroyed fireworks, except the water shells — something Nitz wanted to introduce at this year’s shows.

“I wanted to do this for the shows this year. I’ve never used water shells before — I’ve seen them used. They’re pretty cool,” Nitz said.

Nitz has to reprogram the shows, which are timed to music, to account for the missing water shells, but each still will be about 15 minutes.

Despite the minor program changes, all are relieved that the shows will go on.

“Being able to find that on short notice was a big question — I’m just thrilled that they’re able to replace them. It’s a wonderful tradition, and we’d certainly hate to not have it,” Molnaire said.

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Donations needed for annual island fireworks show

By RICHARD D. OXLEY
Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer
June 3, 2012 · Updated 10:29 AM

The Fourth of July celebration in downtown Winslow is perhaps the biggest annual event on the island.

With a town dance, a festive parade and a patriotic fireworks display to cap it off, Bainbridge Island shows that it likes to party on the fourth.

But the celebration doesn’t come easy — in particular the fireworks display.

For the past four years, the annual fireworks display has been organized by the Bainbridge Island Yacht Club. The club recently formed Bainbridge Fireworks as an incorporated organization to handle the planning, since funding the 15-minute display costs more than the club’s annual budget.

“It’s always kind of pins and needles if we are going to have enough,” said Scott Isenman of Bainbridge Fireworks. “It’s just a handful of people that make it happen for the community, and we have no funding source.”

The organization consists of only five people to assemble and find funding the project. This year, it will take $20,000 to fund the spectacle across the night sky of Eagle Harbor.

So far the group has raised approximately $5,000, which is just enough to pay for the barge that launches the fireworks. They were able to get this far by reaching out by mail to previous years’ contributors.

Bainbridge Fireworks is currently seeking funding for this year’s display and is asking the community for their help to put on the colorful exhibition.

And while they have been able to find a generous donation here and there, it really comes down to a gathering plenty of contributions, many of which are small.

“It’s all small donations,” Isenman said. “We have no one big supporting contributor. We are really dependent on everybody.”

To help this year’s fireworks become a success, islanders can donate through Paypal on the group’s website, www.bainbridgefireworks.org. Donations can also be made at America West Bank (formerly Viking Bank).

Donation jars are also in place at various shops around the island.

The display is seen by onlookers throughout Eagle Harbor, and as far as Seattle.

But to make it all to happen, Isenman asks that islanders to help in any way they can.

We are a grassroots group and we are a grassroots program,” Isenman said. “If we don’t have the community’s support, it doesn’t happen.”

Richard D. Oxley can be reached at roxley@bainbridgereview.com .

Contact Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer Richard D. Oxley at roxley@bainbridgereview.com or (206) 842-6613.

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Bainbridge fireworks — an inspiring celebration

From the Kitsap Sun – July 8, 2011. 

Bombs bursting, flashes of brilliant color, excited cries from children and adults heard all over Eagle Harbor. What was it? It was another successful community-based fireworks show exploding over the heads of an estimated crowd of 5,000 people crowding local restaurants and pubs, as well as lining the shoreline of this jewel of an island.

Albeit only a 15-minute show, it tied a bow on the whole Fourth of July celebration put on by the Chamber of Commerce and Bainbridge Fireworks Organization. It is no small wonder that this island city — with a population of 24,000 — gets together in one place for a short time to remember why being an American is worth making some noise about.

But these are tough times, so why do the citizens and businesses of Bainbridge Island band to together and raise $25,000 to put on this 15-minute fireworks show? It’s because it is not only a terrific way to bring our community together, but also a way to shake our collective finger at adversity and despair that our economy and recent world events puts in front of us — a demonstration, so to speak, of what our freedom to innovate can do when the times get tough.

With that said, we at the Bainbridge Fireworks Organization would like to thank the citizens and businesses that provided the funding through their generous donations for yet another successful year of fireworks celebration. One only has to look into the faces of the children who stayed up late to be part of this time-honored event to know why it is a wonderful gift. Those of you who committed your support through your hard-earned dollars are the ones who brought this American celebration to reality.

We will be back next year to do it again — with your help, perhaps just a little better. You can thank the contributors listed on our Web page listed below with a kind pat on the back, a nod of your head, or by visiting their businesses — letting them know how much you appreciate their gift to the community of Bainbridge Island.

It’s a wonderful thing to live in small-town America.

Bainbridge Fireworks Org.
http://www.bainbridgefireworks.org

Read more: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/jul/06/my-turn-bainbridge-fireworks-151-an-inspiring/#ixzz1RYTcGNAf

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