Cal Expo fireworks organizers promise good Fourth of July show after last year’s malfunction

Shells are lowered into tubes during preparation for the July 4th celebration in 2010
Shells are lowered into tubes during preparation for the July 4th celebration in 2010 jvillegas@sacbee.com

After a malfunction cut the Cal Expo fireworks show short last year, organizers expect to come back Monday with a successful display.

About 3,200 fireworks will be lit in an 18 minute show at Monday evening to celebrate independence day, said Cal Expo spokeswoman Sabrina Rodriguez. The show is free and open to the public at 1600 exposition boulevard.

Last year, a malfunction caused some fireworks to light small grass fires or go off in unexpected directions. The fireworks operator canceled to show 10 minutes in, she said. The year before, a fire on the American River bike trail delayed the show.

Investigators don’t know the cause of the malfunction to this day and have called it a ‘fluke,’ Rodriguez said.

“The organizers are looking to redeem themselves,” she said. “They put so much time and planning into this so people get a chance to see the show.”

J &M Displays, the company that organizes the show, has double and triple checked the displays are safe to ensure the show will go on as expected. The company has been preparing the show for the last three days.

Rodriguez said Cal Expo’s fireworks show is unique because it is one of the only shows to launch fireworks with eight inch shells, which makes them go higher and have a bigger burst.

People will also be able to tune into the radio, on 92.5 fm, to listen to the music timed with the fireworks as they watch from afar.

Gates open at 5:30 pm and live music performances will begin at 6:30 pm. The show is expected to start at 9:30 pm. Rodriguez said Cal Expo expects at least a few thousand people to attend the fireworks show.

Alejandra Reyes-Velarde: 916-321-1005

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