Fireworks company canceled two New Jersey displays
The company that failed to deliver fireworks for a Jersey Shore display on the Fourth of July also disappointed a second community.
Displays in Beachwood and Milltown were canceled because the company that both towns had contracted with, Fireworks Extravaganza, could not get fireworks delivered from Maryland. The same company is scheduled to handle the fireworks display at Brick's Summerfest on Thursday night.
Beachwood Mayor Ron Roma said that the company putting on the display informed him Wednesday morning that the company delivering the fireworks did not have a backup driver available to make the drive.
"You need to have backup licensed drivers. I understand there's hazardous materials. I understand they have rules they have to follow. You can't just get any guy to drive a truck. They failed us. They failed the people, they failed everybody. Now we don't have a fireworks display," Roma said.
A message on the Milltown 4th of July Facebook page said that "our fireworks vendor has failed the Borough and faithful residents of Milltown and will not deliver the fireworks as promised in their contract." A banner on the page indicated that Fireworks Extravaganza was putting on the display and was "new."
The Beachwood fireworks committee contracted with Fireworks Extravaganza for the first time after the previous company said they could not do this year's display, according to Roma, who is a member of the committee.
The display is funded entirely by donations. Roma said the committee would be discussing their financial options with legal council. The 18-minute display cost $17,000. The committee had paid Fireworks Extravaganza half the amount, $8,500, with the balance due upon delivery of the fireworks.
Roma said the fireworks were to be delivered by 12:15 p.m. and set up on Wednesday because there is no place to store them.
"This company has pre-fabricated stands. They do it electronically. The explosives themselves, they can't just bring them and leave them. They have to be brought in the day of the event," he said.
Both Beachwood and Milltown said there will be no make-up date.
John Sagaria, the owner of Fireworks Extravaganza, issued a statement on his company's Facebook page on Thursday taking full responsibility for the cancellations.
"Yesterday a perfect storm of events took place and we were unable to get the product legally delivered to your site," Sagaria wrote, adding that all was ready to go for both displays.
"Many regulations are in place for transportation of explosives and this is what failed. Any other day other than the 4th of July we could have made changes and gotten around it, but yesterday we could not. It was a failure but also a failure of not having a strong enough 'Plan B' in place for yesterday. And we simply ran out of time. This failure is my fault and the development of a powerful 'Plan B' is my responsibility. And for this I am sorry."
Sagaria said the cancellations were the first in the past 10 years of the "hundreds" of shows his company has put on.
Residents expressed their disappointment in the cancellation of the displays on Fireworks Extravaganza's Facebook page.
"Kinda hard to view the show when you don't deliver the fireworks to our town as scheduled this year???" wrote Colleen Carney-Clayton.
"What a despicable company to let all the town of Beachwood down and all the other towns. So many children were upset on the 4th of July when they should have been watching fireworks and feeling proud of their country. Truly an unAmerican company. I hope karma comes and bites you in the butt after what you did to thousands of families in NJ. Shame on you," Katie Coyne wrote.
Fireworks Extravagana's Rochelle Park offices were closed on Wednesday for the holiday, according to a phone message.
Another member of the Beachwood fireworks committee, Borough Councilman Gerald LaCrosse, 75, was seriously injured when a SUV slammed into his Wunder Wiener hot dog stand along Route 9 in June.
Two police PBAs will set up a hot dog stand of their own on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in the same spot, in an effort to raise funds to help LaCrosse's family.
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