Countdown to 2011 Big Bay Boom Fireworks Show

Contact: Ron Powell, (619) 400-4789 - Published on .

Preparations are underway for the Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show, sponsored by the Port of San Diego. This will be the show’s 11th year, and it will take place Monday, July 4, 2011. (Photo: Dale Frost)In just a few weeks, the skies over San Diego Bay will come alive with fireworks in celebration of the Fourth of July.

Preparations are underway for the Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show, sponsored by the Port of San Diego. This will be the show’s 11th year, and it will take place Monday, July 4, 2011.

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The Port of San Diego is sponsoring the event through its annual Marketing and Fee for Service program. The program helps fund partnerships that provide direct benefit to the Port and/or business on the Port tidelands.

“The Port of San Diego is proud to help the San Diego region celebrate the birth of our great nation,” said Scott Peters, chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. “One of our core missions at the port is to help provide attractions that bring people to the waterfront. And there’s no better time for Americans to get together than on the Fourth of July.”

To address potential environmental issues and concerns over the fireworks display, as well as to comply with state and federal law, the show’s executive producer, Sandy Purdon, is obtaining the necessary permits. These include a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit from the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board to protect the water quality, Coastal Commission review to protect coastal resources, and a U.S. Coast Guard marine event permit to manage safety issues in San Diego Bay.

Each agency's permit addresses different potential fireworks impacts. The water board permit protects water quality, the Coastal Commission permit protects coastal resources and the Coast Guard permit protects safety on the bay.

“We will do everything we can to be sure the show will be as safe and environmentally sensitive as possible,” said Purdon. “We will have some 16 vessels to watch for any debris in the water, and we’ll be sure our best management practices on the barges and pier are followed closely.”

The show operators will be adhering to numerous best management practices and will prepare a reporting log after the pyrotechnics are discharged to document the particulars of each display, pursuant to the NPDES water quality permit, Purdon said.

The Big Bay Boom is estimated to bring tens of thousands of spectators to port parks and tidelands hugging the bay. This event supports two of the Port’s missions: To provide attractions that bring the public to the waterfront and to promote the waterfront and its tenants.

The proceeds from the event, generated by the show’s producers in the form of sponsorships, go to the San Diego Armed Services YMCA and their 40 social programs that are free of charge for military families in our region.

The event generates revenue to Port hotels, attractions, and restaurants. In 2010, this signature Port event generated over 20,000 tideland hotel room nights, with an average $136 daily rate resulting in over $2,761,000 in revenue.

The Port's Big Bay attractions like the Midway, Maritime Museum, yacht clubs, dinner cruises and other charters, and restaurants successfully market this event and generate percentage revenues to the Port.

“With barges in the north San Diego bay and on the Imperial Beach Pier as the prime locations for launching the pyrotechnics, it is expected to attract tens of thousands of people,” said Purdon.

The viewing locations include from the shores near the fireworks barges, which are located in the waters near Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North Embarcadero, Seaport Village in San Diego, the Coronado Ferry Landing in Coronado and areas near the Imperial Beach Pier in Imperial Beach.

The Port’s member city of Chula Vista decided not to produce an Independence Day display.

In a statement, Mayor Cheryl Cox said, “The complexities with legal uncertainties and time constraints involved with the permitting process create too many hurdles to overcome prior to this Fourth of July. I am thankful for the financial pledges that would have covered most of the costs of this year's event.”

Parking and shuttle information will be released in the coming weeks.

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