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Boise’s Fourth Of July Fireworks Plan For 2021: Bigger And Higher

070221_fireworks_gp.jpg
Alan Alabastro
/
Western Display
Western Display will produce the fireworks show for the City of Boise.

On the long list of events lost to the pandemic in 2020 was any community-wide celebration of the Fourth of July. And while there will be significant adjustments to the 2021 Independence Day event, City of Boise officials say they can’t wait for a huge fireworks show to return to Ann Morrison Park.

“There are some changes in the park, but it still will have a ton of space and a really great show,” said Summer Altieri, the city’s Special Event Coordinator.

Meanwhile, the people behind Boise’s Fourth of July fireworks show say the biggest change this year – and they do accent “big” – will be the size and height of the pyrotechnics.

“The show is almost all large aerial shells this year,” said Heather Gobet, president and owner of Western Display Fireworks, the region’s largest fireworks display operators and the team that will put together Boise’s display.

“So, a big component of the show in the past were the lower-level items that are really spectacular when you're in the immediate vicinity. But they're a little bit harder to see from some distance. And we want to make sure that this year's show, after the long wait, can be enjoyed by as many people as possible.”

Altieri and Gobet visited with Morning Edition host George Prentice to preview this year's holiday showcase.

“The colors are so vibrant, and they're just so intricately manufactured and beautifully done. And we're really excited to be showcasing those throughout the show.”
Heather Gobet

Read the full transcript below:

GEORGE PRENTICE: It is Morning Edition on Boise State Public Radio News. Good morning. I'm George Prentice. Well, here we are, and the Fourth of July is quickly approaching. So, let's talk about the long anticipated celebration here in Boise. Heather Gobet is here, she is president and owner of Western Display Fireworks in Oregon. They'll be putting on the big show for Boise. And Summer. Altieri is here. She is Park's Special Event Coordinator for the City of Boise. Good morning, Heather. Good morning, Summer; and thanks for joining us.

HEATHER GOBET: Thank you,

SUMMER ALTIERI: Thank you.

PRENTICE: Summer, I'd like to start with you on logistics. Can you talk us through things like setting up a fire perimeter, or inspections, and most importantly, when you'll close the park?

Photo of fireworks over City of Boise
City of Boise
Fireworks over Ann Morrison Park will begin at sundown

ALTIERI: So, we are so excited to have the fireworks show back down at Ann Morrison Park this year. The show will kick off at 10:15 p.m. as normal in past years when it's gone. However, the park will be closed at sunrise that morning for all vehicle traffic. That is for safety. So, if you have an ADA placard in your car, we have two entrances of the park that you can access the day of the fireworks. So that is off of the Royal Boulevard entrance. Or you can use the Ann Morrison drive entrance. New this year, we are going to have the Americana entrance of the park closed. So, plan ahead. We will also have, just as we did in past years, the Crescent Rim area closed to vehicle traffic. So, all of the citizens, new and old ones, you can come over there and look at that.

PRENTICE: Heather, what can we expect to see in this year's show? I think we're overdue for a for a really big show.

GOBET: Absolutely. I couldn't agree with Summer more, that we're excited to be back in Boise. And we've got a beautiful show designed. One thing that's extra special about the show this year…actually, there's a couple of things…but the first thing is the design. The show is almost all large aerial shells this year. So, a big component of the show in the past were the lower-level items that are really spectacular when you're in the immediate vicinity. But they're a little bit harder to see from some distance. And we want to make sure that this year's show, after the long wait, can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. So, the show is completely designed to be to be aerial, which means we'll have shells. It'll be going up between 400- and 600-feet in elevation and breaking 600-feet across. Another really fun addition to the show this year…it'll be the the first time they've been showcased in Boise… is we have added a new supplier from Buffalo, Missouri. And it's a wonderful family operation that this gentleman and his wife traveled the whole world, and he was the consultant for, you name it, the most premiere fireworks manufacturers in the world and brought those skills back to their farm in Buffalo. And they make these phenomenal shells. We were able to travel back there and we drove all the way to Missouri last fall to get to see them tested in their facility. And they are just spectacular. The colors are so vibrant and they're just so intricately manufactured and beautifully done. And we're really excited to be showcasing those throughout the show. And then, specifically in the finale, the grand finale of the show, the whole latter portion of it will be made in America altogether.

PRENTICE: Real quick, how many shows are you putting on this year across the region?

GOBET: Typically, we do about 200 shows in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Last year we did, I believe, 42. And needless to say, that was a real challenge on so many different levels for our company. But this year we have about 120 scheduled for the weekend of the 4th. And we're just really pleased with that and excited to be to be going again

PRENTICE: Summer, on Independence Day, what might we expect to see or not expect to see as far as amenities or features in the park?

ALTIERI: So, at least this year, unfortunately, we are not going to have any food vendors or beer vendors of any kind. This is really just the bring-your-family-to-watch-the-show; pack a picnic, lots of water. So, you will not be seeing any of the vendors that we've had in the past year. Also to note, the fountain down in Ann Morrison Park is getting a well-needed makeover. So, it will not be running that day either. So, there are some changes in the park, but it still will have a ton of space and a really great show.

PRENTICE: Without giving me too much detail. I heard a rumor that you're talking with some health care providers about a possibility of a COVID immunization pop-up on that day.

ALTIERI: Absolutely, you know, we are always looking to reach out to our community, hear what they have to say and support them however we can. And so that conversation has come up. And if it's something that we can work out, we'll definitely talk about it. It hasn't been firmed up as of now. So, it's just something that's out there in our community. And if it fits for us, then we'll go ahead and work that out.

PRENTICE: Heather, do you get to exhale come sundown on the Fourth of July?

GOBET: Yes, there's a huge sense of relief at about 11 p.m. on the night of the 4th.

PRENTICE: Summer, where will you be on the fourth?

ALTIERI: I will be down at the park, and doing the same thing: watching it with our family at the end of the day, and we pick our little picnic spot and watch the show.

PRENTICE: She is Summer Altieri, and she is Heather Gobet. And aside from Santa Claus, two of the busiest people you'll ever meet on a holiday. Happy Fourth of July to both of you. And thanks so much for giving us some rare moments to sit still and talk to us this morning.

GOBET: Thank you.

ALTIERI: Thank you.

Find reporter George Prentice on Twitter @georgepren

Copyright 2021 Boise State Public Radio