Washington American Legion Post 218’s Fourth of July fireworks show will cost the organization nothing next year, according to Dave Gildehaus, chairman of the annual show.
The Washington fireworks show experienced technical difficulties before the grand finale was set to go off July 4, leaving some viewers disappointed and the Legion looking for answers.
Billy Marquart, who worked on the show, said a short in a wireless detonator was to blame. When the detonator was supposed to trigger, it failed and because of that many fireworks did not detonate.
After the firing crew noticed that the grand finale rockets were not detonating, one member began to light the fireworks by hand in an effort to salvage the show.
However, because the fireworks were spaced too closely together and the smoke became too thick, the crew had to stop. No injuries were sustained.
Gildehaus said the company that supplied the fireworks and technology, J&M Displays, will provide next year’s show for free and has taken Post 218’s 50 percent downpayment from this year’s display and put it toward the future 2019 display.
Gildehaus said the Legion wants to thank all those who attended the display and the more than 60 businesses and individuals who donated to the show. He said the public can expect better next year.
“We’ve been doing this for as long as anyone can remember,” he said. “We just want to thank the people who came out and donated money.”
Next year’s show should run about 30 minutes in length, as long as everything goes according to plan, Gildehaus said.
“We promised a great show and we really want to apologize for the disappointment, especially for the second year in a row,” he said.