JEFFERSON-For more than a couple hours Monday evening Ashe County Park was the hottest ticket in town.
Hundreds packed the park – and nearly as many more parked at businesses and along roads leading into the park – as dusk fell on the Fourth of July in anticipation of the county’s annual fireworks extravaganza.
And not even the weather could put a damper on the display. Light rain fell in the hours leading up to the show and a brief but punishing downpour closed out the performance.
“Pretty much rain or shine this show is going to happen,” Scott Turnmyre, Ashe County Parks and Recreation director, said July 1. “It’s possible to reschedule a show if the weather gets nasty, but it’s expensive and it disappoints so many people. Even in (2013) when it rained so hard, people are going to show up.”
The county has relied on East Coast Pyrotechnics for years to send its patriotic displays skyward.
“There’s so many moving parts for them this time of year,” Turnmyre said. “But they’ve always done an incredible job for us. People’s attention span for these kinds of shows is probably somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes – might not really be anymore than 15 minutes – and East Coast Pyrotechnics does a great job packing the maximum show in that tight window.”
So what’s it cost the county to hear the boom? Turnmyre said the show costs roughly $11,000, 0r a little more than $733 per minute for a 15 minute performance.
“But it’s something that people love,” Turnmyre said. “And probably money well spent when you’re talking about things that explode.”
Reach Adam Orr at 336-489-3058.