Steamboat officials vow to have plan B in future years in case of fireworks cancellation |

Steamboat officials vow to have plan B in future years in case of fireworks cancellation

The city’s Fourth of July fireworks show was canceled last year because of the high fire danger.
Matt Stensland

Tom Kern, former CEO of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, helped save Steamboat’s Independence Day 2012 with a Beatles cover band when the city’s big fireworks show had to be cancelled due to drought.

The city wasn’t so lucky this year.

When this year’s show was cancelled only three days before the holiday due to high fire danger, no plan B ever materialized, aside from rogue fireworks shows around town that generated several police calls.

City manager Gary Suiter vowed this week that, if the city’s fireworks are ever again cancelled, the city will have something else ready to entertain the community.

The contingency plan was a focus this week of a meeting between Suiter and Steamboat Chamber and Resort Association representatives.

“Our commitment, our pact, was to work together and have (a plan B) before the (ski) lifts closes,” Suiter said Tuesday. “We should have a plan B in place, whether it be live music or a laser light show or family activities. We could also probably do some low-level fireworks near an irrigation system.”

Suiter made the pledge after councilwoman Robin Crossan asked what the plan was if the fireworks had to be cancelled in the future.

In the defense of the city and the chamber this year, Kern had significantly more time to come up with his grand backup plan in 2012.

Current Chamber CEO Kara Stoller told Steamboat Today the chamber also didn’t have any extra special event funding this year to fund a backup plan, as Kern did.

With two weeks warning, Kern was able to utilize his existing working relationship with 1964, a nationally touring Beatles cover band.

Kern also ordered 2,000 plastic fiber-optic wands to hand out in place of sparklers.

This year’s Independence Day firework show was cancelled only three days before the bombs were set to go off.

A large wildfire that sparked near California Park the Saturday before was a factor in the decision.

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