Sunday night’s fireworks show at Crescent Beach was cancelled due to rain and low clouds, Shelter Island Fire Department Chief John D’Amato confirmed Sunday evening.
The Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the fireworks show, decided not to reschedule the event for another night, according to an email that was sent to members on Sunday evening.
“It has just been decided, at 7:50 pm, by Chief Read, the Chamber and Bay Fireworks to cancel the fireworks for this evening,” Chamber Secretary Barbara Bloom wrote in an email distributed Sunday at 8 p.m. “There will not be a new date. Bay Fireworks will give us a credit for next year.”
Chamber President Art Williams declined to comment until later today, after he had a chance to discuss all aspects of the issue further with chamber members.
The fireworks were first scheduled for Saturday night but were cancelled because of a technical problem.
Original Story: A technical glitch forced the postponement of Saturday night’s annual Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce fireworks show at Crescent Beach until tonight, Sunday, July 15 at 9:15 when everyone will try again.
A fire truck with a PA system rolled down the beach road beginning about 9:40 p.m. Saturday night — above a half hour after the show should have started — with the announcement that the show had to be canceled and it would take place instead tonight, Sunday, at 9:15 p.m. A groan went up as the truck started the process and word quickly spread down the beach.
“Some people had been on the beach all day,” noted Chamber of Commerce President Arthur Williams.
A crowd of puzzled spectators estimated at between 3,500 and 4,000 people “handled themselves extremely well” when the official word came, said Mr. Williams Saturday morning. Chamber officials were heartbroken and personnel from Bay Fireworks, which was to put on the show, had been mortified, according to Mr. Williams.
Radio communications had partially failed between the controllers on the beach and the fireworks array on a barge moored off the east end of Crescent Beach, he explained. At one point, technicians took the radio control box aboard a boat to get closer to the barge to see if a good signal could be obtained. That didn’t work.
Organizers discussed the possibility of putting on a smaller show with fireworks that could have been activated, Mr. Williams said, but they feared doing so might disrupt the technical set up for the rest of the array. In the end, the radio system failed almost completely and there was no choice but to cancel and reschedule for tonight, Sunday, Mr. Williams explained.