Evan Smith President and CEO gives insight behind the July 4th fireworks in Newport and a list of…upcoming firework displays for the local area.
July 1st – 9PM Jamestown East Ferry Wharf (festivities 630-1030)
July 2nd – Two shows
- 9PM Newport Fort Adams , best viewing is from Newport Harbor facing west
- 9PM The Silent fireworks in Jamestown at Beavertail Rd, Jamestown, RI 02835, parking is available in lots 3 and 4 https://www.facebook.com/AutismRI/photos/a.117515575621266/363325657706922/?type=3&theater
July 3rd – 9:30PM Bristol Harbor (festivities begin 8AM)
July 4th – 9:30PM Escobar Farm 133 Middle Road Portsmouth
July 6th – 9:15PM Thrive Coffee House lawn 706 Park Avenue – Island Park Portsmouth (festivities 530-830)
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Read The Transcript
Thank you for having me on the show. Absolutely so there’s been a whole lot of questions about the July 4th fireworks and I know from what you said at the last Discover Newport meeting there’s so many fireworks happening. So give us the scoop.Well today is July 1st and fireworks are gonna start off tonight in Jamestown. Jamestown will be launching from the end of Narragansett Avenue.People can go to Jamestown and watch the fireworks tonight.There are two shows tomorrow night July 2nd.OK, 2! on July 2. The city of Newport will be firing their’s at Fort Adams at 9:15 at dusk.Then there is going to be a new event over in Jamestown. They’re going to have a silent fireworks. Have you ever heard of silent fireworks?I have never heard of silent fireworks, but I bet the dogs love it!Well that is part of the story. There are people that get anxietized by fireworks.People who have medical conditions.People who suffer from autism.Veterans have problems with loud noises. Yes, PSD. And as you just pointed out, animals do too.A group of people got together and they are organizing the first silent fireworks.Which means that the silence does not leave the shell. It projectiles into the air and explodes without sound.I can’t even imagine how that’s possible, but I am interested to learn.That is going to be at Beavertail State park at dusk at 9:15.So you will have the Newport Fireworks going at Fort Adams and you will have the silent fireworks at the same time down at Beavertail. The whole bay will be lit up!So hopefully your not going to hear the Newport Fireworks for that group who are trying to create, what I think is a really noble experiment.I am interested to see how it turns out. Me too so then we move on to July 3rd and the perennial celebration of the Bristol fourth of July parade.Bristol will be lighting up on the 3rd.That’s a very big parade. Huge.I hear that one of their coaches has been refurbished and coming out for the first time in 50 years. Is that right? Harle Tinney, former owner of Belcourt Castle, family had built a coronation coach. The best way to describe that is to think of Cinderella.Her Family has had this coach for 50 years and I believe it’s going to be towed, no horses, towed by a truck in the fourth of July parade in Bristol. Which will be really amazing.so no shortage fireworks we keep going, okay.Okay, so we get onto the fourth and I’m largely talking about here in Newport in Bristol County not statewide but so we go to Escobar farm in Portsmouth on July 4th.so now that’s a third night in a row for fireworks. That is a lot. and then there’s a second firing fireworks on July 6th at Island Park in Portsmouth as well so there is 1st 2nd 3rd 4th and 6th are the fireworks this week just in our territory now you think about this Narragansett is also on July 4th India Park in Providence is on July 4th so as we look around this beautiful bay that we are so fortunate to live on, and here comes the Ocean State Ferry coming in.There are so many fireworks and the weather forecast through Friday looks pretty good and that’s something you have to be concerned about is bad weather, low ceiling clouds and or fog is a real killer for fireworks.How do you feel like this impacts Newport’s economy with all the fireworks going on and a lot to do? You know some people, some merchants I think got unnecessarily stressed out that the city moved its fireworks from the 4th to the 2nd.There’s no guarantee the fireworks will ever happen because of weather.I know that some people really kind of got stressed about that. I said this is not really something to stress about there’s no shortage of fireworks they’re gonna be five days of fireworks. You have to take the weather when you can get it. It is a lot of fun for residents and visitors.Absolutely, people come in from all over.Even though I am the tourist director and focus more on the visitor side, residents of Aquidneck Island, Connanicut Island all of Rhode Island taking advantage of this.Everybody picks out their best fireworks. They get their chairs ready, their blankets ready and their picnic baskets ready and off they go and had a great time.What is your favorite Firework?My favorite firework, well you know what is amazing today is the way the pyrotechnics companies are doing all these wonderful things.Boy are they different than when I was a kid. There’s all these wonderful graphics in the sky.Last Friday night when we did the Pell Bridge fireworks for the 50th anniversary, They did one of a smiley face. the projectile went up, and I don’t know how this is controlled, but the projectile explodes and their is a perfect smiley face.That just drew the roar of the crowd. That was the crowd favorite. I think, of course, everybody’s favorite, my favorite, is the grand finale, for sure.Explosion in the sky of all these colors is just fabulous.It’s exhilarating, for sure. My favorite is the one that blows up in the sky and then softly trickles down like a willow tree. Those are nice too, like a waterfall. Those I will tell you, I think that’s one of my favorites. As someone who gets really involved in these types of events, those stressed me out because I’m wondering, are they gonna hit the ground or a person. Right, or a sail. While very very pretty, I’m watching these things coming down saying please don’t hit the ground, please don’t hit the ground. You know because you want have fireworks, you want to have safe fireworks. We’ve seen unfortunately tragic stories on the news sometimes about how fireworks can go wrong.So be safe this year please.Part of the message we need to be safe and those projectiles are very beautiful.There was a lot of questions about July 4th , July 2nd, why were the fireworks moved?So everybody wants fireworks on the fourth of July and there’s only a actually a very small number of companies that do fireworks.so when we think about that , ok, there’s … let’s say six companies that do fireworks and we have 39 towns in Rhode Island.Sounds like the business to get into right?So not everybody can have fireworks on the fourth of July.So if you want your fireworks on the fourth of July you need to get in your requests in very soon and in this particular case I think there may have been a paper hiccup but again just because you reserved fourth of July doesn’t mean you can be able to fire on the fourth of July because other situations.Weather , maybe highest bidder.and so this week is the nation’s celebration of its independence, lots of fireworks, but we have fireworks. Last year we did 1200 weddings in Newport, and you’d be amazed…Congratulations everybody!You’d be amazed at how many people want to do fireworks for their weddings and so brides and grooms will have to file with the town that they’re getting married in to see if they want to have a celebration there. The New York Yacht Club is celebrating it’s 175th birthday and Bank Newport is celebrating its 200th birthday and they will be helping fireworks in August. At the end of August the Navy base has its tribute to the end of the summer so they will be having fireworks. So in addition to the five shows I mentioned this week Christon, then you’ve got dozens of more shows throughout the summer. This is for me like the summer of fireworks!It sounds like it!!There’s some summer’s is the summers of Tall Ships and different things.I think this is going to be the summer of fireworks because there’s so many shows coming up.Well what more fabulous way to celebrate on the water than having explosions of lights in the sky.Well it is spectacular when it works well.You know, when you when you get there… most people don’t understand how much work goes into this and the set-up time. When you’re the operational person behind the scenes you often have to tell the fireworks company any where between 24 to 48 hours in advance if you’re not going to fire and so you’re sitting there 48 hours out and you’re saying what’s the wind speed gonna be, what’s the rain gonna be, you know, what’s happening, is there fog forecast, because if you don’t give that notice 48 hours as the person financing them, you just payed for them. Most shows pretty much start at $20,000 and go up. Most of the shows you see you’re here in Rhode Island or somewhere between $20,000 and $35,000.That’s what the fireworks cost themselves? yes yes sure. Each of the shows we just talked about various different people have different fundraising efforts.Tonight is Jamestown, okay, and that’s organized not by the town, but a group of private citizens called The Rocket ‘Hogs and those men and women go around, year long passing the cup asking for donations and there’s people who give personally, corporately for that celebration. In the case of the city of Newport the same way the city puts in some money but they’re also asking the business community please to contribute so the hotels and the restaurants and other people are contributing to the city’s.It’s not taxpayer paid. This is a donation.Correct, exactly, so you know, a lot of work goes into it, the raising of the money, the thoughts of where you want to shoot from and then that critical moment when you say mother nature’s with us that we can do it or mother nature is going to make us wait another day.Many of the shows I just told you about have a rain date or a fog date and that’s something you want to watch in the media for, because there have been years where people are all excited and they get to the day, and then it’s a bummer because they don’t have fire. This summer we’re gonna have more than 20 shows going on.and you know, personally I think it’s just marvelous to see the night sky just light up with so much color.We look forward to that. Thank you so much for joining us today Evan and really appreciate all your insight and behind the scenes information.I’m so excited this is my debut on your show! Thank you for having me! I hope that I can come back again!Absolutely! Thank you so much!We look forward to seeing you on Newport Living and Lifestyles Bye everyone!