San Diego has one of the largest 4th of July fireworks displays in the country; more than 500,000 people typically turn out to see the display over the bay. So it was deeply embarrassing for the city (and its display coordinator Garden State Fireworks) last year when all the fireworks in the planned 18-minute show went off at the same time due to a computer error, leaving behind an enormous cloud of smoke and a bewildered audience.
The mortifying incident, in which the fireworks lit up the sky for a glorious, deafening 30 seconds, was heavily documented on Twitter and YouTube. "Garden State Fireworks, Inc. is deeply saddened by the unfortunate sequence of events that lead to the entire San Diego display to ignite simultaneously," the company apologized.
Last year's "Big Bay Bust."
That meant there was extra pressure for this year's show. "The world will be watching us," H.P. "Sandy" Purdon, executive producer of the show, told the L.A. Times.
Luckily for Purdon, San Diego, and Garden State Fireworks, this year's display went off without a hitch. "The folks of Garden State Fireworks delivered a blinding, booming show in living, sparkling color," wrote the San Diego Union-Tribune, "and San Diegans got to wipe the civic egg off our faces with a hankie made of a million fiery stars."
This year's show was free of mishaps.