Mishap puts damper on Dover fireworks display


Fireworks burst over Dover Saturday night at the annual Dover Fourth of July celebration. Photo by Andrew West/Delaware State News

DOVER — A mishap in the launching areas of fireworks disrupted the planned Fourth of July show in Dover Saturday night.

Responding to the public’s numerous comments of disappointment, Dover Fourth of July Committee president Greg Patterson explained what happened in a statement Sunday.

“No one is more disappointed in this year’s Dover fireworks show than the Dover Fourth of July Committee,” the statement said. “As an explanation, the fireworks crew had a mishap and the finale chain of fireworks shells went off just before the show was due to start.

“Fortunately, no one on the crew was injured.”

The mishap delayed the start of the main show.

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“When they finally could start, the pace of the show was slower than planned,” the statement said. The length of the show was doubled and far outlasted the themed music that has become an integral part of our show the last few years, and there was no finale.

“While the city, county and state provide logistical support, the Dover Fourth of July is organized by a group of volunteers that spends six months each year raising funds and planning the event. To have a poor show like we did and then to hear disappointed comments from the community is disheartening to say the least.

“While the rest of Saturday’s event went well and provided a good time for thousands of people, we will plan and hope to do better with our fireworks show in 2016.”

The fireworks are launched next to Legislative Hall in Dover.

Thousands gather in the capital area, but parking lots near the event on U.S. 113 and 13, including the Blue Hen Mall and Target, are jammed with spectators.

This year’s fireworks were staged by Zambelli Fireworks.

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