It wasn’t safe
Man in charge of Charlottetown’s fireworks show says wind direction Wednesday night made conditions unsafe for people in Victoria Park
It simply wasn’t safe to set off the fireworks in Charlottetown on Wednesday night, says the man in charge of the show.
George Wade, show designer for Nova Scotia-based Fireworks FX, told The Guardian on Thursday it’s his call at show time as to whether it’s safe to shoot.
The capital city’s Canada Day fireworks extravaganza was called off about 20 minutes before the 10 p.m. scheduled start due to the direction of wind gusts.
The show was moved to Thursday night.
“I’m the one that makes the call whether the show shoots,’’ Wade said, adding that he’s given a time to start by organizers and makes the call then.
It’s up to organizers to call it off before then.
The problem Wednesday night was the wind direction, with gusts blowing directly at Victoria Park.
“We know no shell is going to land and blow up in the crowd. The issue I worry about is that you have an audience looking up in the sky and then these black particles ( from fireworks that have gone off ) coming down in the sky and filling everybody’s eyes with soot and sulphur.’’
Wade said eight shows were called off in the Maritimes Wednesday, including shows in Cornwall as well as Halifax.
Donna Hurry, tourism officer with the City of Charlottetown, said the wind direction wasn’t a problem at 9 p.m. on Wednesday but the direction of the wind changed.
“As an organizer, you’re really disappointed that you can’t pull off something that you worked on for months,’’ Hurry said.
Barbara Joslin, who was at Victoria Park for the show, wasn’t impressed at how things were handled.
“We were close enough to hear the announcement,’’ Joslin told The Guardian.
“Honestly, there was barely a breeze. People were confused and no one knew if the announcement (that the show was postponed) was for real. This was very poorly handled.’’
Trevor Wade MacInnis said he agreed with the decision to postpone Wednesday.
“My 13-year-old daughter? Not so happy,’’ MacInnis said. “Hopefully the decision was made with safety in mind.’’
Ryan Gillis said they made the right call.
“I was at Fishbones on the rooftop and the wind was whipping in around the buildings up there but not until shortly before the supposed start time,’’ Gillis said. “Safety first.’’
Robyn McCormack said she understands people were disappointed but safety comes first.
“Can you just imagine the outcry had they gone ahead with them and, God forbid, someone were to be injured?’’ McCormack said.