Smithfield saves with fireworks on the 5th

Posted July 5, 2010

— By celebrating America's birthday a day late Monday, the Town of Smithfield saved some green to go along with the red, white and blue.

When local business leaders started planning for a Fourth of July celebration, they found legal and financial reasons to wait one day before setting off their fireworks.

A new state law, instituted after the deaths of four people preparing for a fireworks display in 2009, requires anyone using pyrotechnics for a public show to complete a training course and receive an operator's license.

Licensed operators were charging about $15,000 for a display on the Fourth, said Chris Johnson, of the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation.

"(It was) a scramble to try and find someone," he said.

So they settled for the next best thing, booking the show for Monday night -- at about half the cost.

"The way you see it, you are extending the party, at a cheaper price," he said.

The savings made sense to those who enjoyed an evening of musical entertainment capped by the fireworks display at the Neuse River Amphitheatre.

Smithfield celebrates the Fourth on the 5th Smithfield celebrates the Fourth on the 5th

"I think it is still good because we should celebrate every day," said Albert Dixon, who attended Monday's celebration dressed as Mr. America.

Organizers say more people were able to attend because the show was not competing with other, bigger displays.

The savings will also allow the group to sponsor other events later in the year.

Meanwhile, a scheduling mix-up forced the cancellation of fireworks in the Nash County town of Castalia.

The town had moved the event to Saturday night to accommodate staffing for law enforcement, but the fireworks were slated to come on Sunday, officials said.

The town went ahead with a parade and entertainment, and the money that was spent on the fireworks will be applied toward next year's fireworks display, officials said.


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  • myside Jul 6, 2010

    Why do people have to fuss about everything. The fireworks at Smithfield were great. I enjoyed them and the people around me seemed to do the same. People need to try to enjoy what they can and not look for something to complain about.

  • Mike27603 Jul 6, 2010

    The music waqs greatbut the fireworks sucked and the people where hateful

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Jul 6, 2010

    $15,000?! I think my brother has a pyro license and he'd probably do it for the price of a plane ticket here and the fun of doing it.

  • wayneboyd Jul 6, 2010

    You are so right miseen, but consider this. An American citizen has a constitutional right to work and earn a living without inteference from anyone. A privilege is exactly the opposite,It (a privilege) is subject to both regulation and taxation, that's the purpose for the government requiring such.
    Should you employ me to build you a deck on the back of your home, the first thing the county wants from me is a permit, the cost of that permit is determined by the cost of your deck.
    The county tells me exactly how to build it for you because I just signed away my right to do it my way, and when I'm finished the inspector will come back and if I have did it according to their specs, he'll sign off on it.
    But guess what if the next day you and your husband start across your new deck and it collapses and breaks your back,who can you sue, not the guy who told me how to build it,
    he assumes no responsibility at all, he tells you to sue me.
    That's the part that galls me.

  • oldrebel Jul 5, 2010

    Southport has their show tonight (on the Fifth) also.

  • miseem Jul 5, 2010

    Looks like for some reason my first post was blocked. I was saying that licenses are not moneymakers for states. They are intended to improve the odds that someone performing a physically or financially risky activity has some training. Do you want an unlicensed person operating on you? Someone who claims to be an accountant doing your taxes, or someone bringing explosives to an event with hundreds or thousands of people who whose only credentials are "trust me, I know what I'm doin"

  • RandolphBloke Jul 5, 2010

    "God bless you miseem! You're 100% right!"

  • rescuefan Jul 5, 2010

    miseem, you are so right, but people like wayneboyd won't acknowledge that.

  • miseem Jul 5, 2010

    Another by the way wayneboyd, there are not just government licenses, there are regulations. Building codes in this area have for years required safeguards on garage doors to prevent injury to children. There are also building and product safety codes for all of the items you mentioned. I guess we need to do away with them too. Don't want the guvmint messing with our rights! Of course, if that gas grill blows up, you'd probably be the first to sue the manufacturer and accuse the government of falling down on the job. Bet you think Obama should have stopped the BP oil leak by now.

  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Jul 5, 2010

    God bless you Wayneboyd! You're 100% right!