Last-minute negotiations among organizers, city public safety officers and Port of Redwood City officials have rescued this year’s fireworks show from cancellation.
After 66 years organizing the annual display, the Peninsula Celebration Association announced in early June that the 2006 show would be canceled due to "problems with safety, security and traffic," according to PCA President Robert Slusser. Now, however, the show is back on.
"The PCA has found a way to continue the tradition," said Paul Sanfilipo, a past president of the volunteer group that also organizes the city’s July 4 parade and festival. He and other past presidents continued negotiations after Slusser and other city officials had thrown in the towel.
PCA is a volunteer-run organization that in recent years has been overwhelmed by Independence Day tasks, including arranging for Porta-Potties and lighting, as well as cleaning up litter after the fireworks show, Sanfilipo said. In addition, Redwood City donates about $30,000 each year in police, fire and other enforcement, according to police Chief Carlos Bolanos.
In order for the show to continue, port officials have agreed to organize latrines and lights, according to director Michael Giari. However, because of the late rescheduling, no bands will perform prior to the sunset fireworks show.
Officials would like attendees to pitch in, too. "We’re asking the public to be courteous to fellow citizens, to be patient when they’re leaving and maybe clean up a little bit. Last year they left such a mess," Sanfilipo said.
Vice Mayor Roseanne Foust, who watches the fireworks every year from the Redwood Shores levees, said she was "very happy" with the announcement that the fireworks would go on and commended Sanfilipo on pursuing the issue when other negotiations had failed.
"He’s a real go-to guy," she said.