SAN DIEGO - Nearly one year after the annual pyrotechnics extravaganza over San Diego Bay went bust with the near-simultaneous detonation of all the fireworks, preparations for Thursday night's reprise of the Big Bay Boom are going well, according to the event organizer.
August Santore of Garden State Fireworks told 10News the software issues that caused last year's debacle, which brought him and San Diego international attention, have been corrected.
"We're in great shape, we're in the final preparation stages," Santore said. "Right now, we're doing some last-minute wiring and we've already checked one of the barges, and everything is all systems go."
The fireworks are launched from four barges strategically located along the bay.
Santore was quick to take responsibility for last year's malfunction. He said there was a software interface problem.
"It had created a code that instructed those fireworks to be all launched at once," he said.
The show lasted less than 30 seconds.
Initial thoughts of a make-up show were deemed impractical, but this year's event is planned to last a couple of minutes longer, for a total of 18 minutes, 30 seconds.
"We're very, very honored to be back, we're very honored to be given the opportunity," Santore said. "Lots of awesome colors, pastels, the traditional red, white, and blue … It wouldn't be July 4th without it. We have neat things in store."
Everything is wired and programmed and double- and triple-checked.
"We perform hours and hours of checks and redundancy and I'm probably going to spend a few more hours doing a quadruple check," said Santore.
The Port of San Diego expects 300,000 to 500,000 people will converge on the bay to observe the display, and encourages attendees to use public transportation.
The best viewing spots will be Harbor Island, the North Embarcadero, Seaport Village, Shelter Island and the Coronado Ferry Landing, according to the port. Spectators will also be allowed to bring chairs to view the show on Broadway Pier and the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal.
Port officials said drivers should be aware of construction along North
Harbor Drive. Also, police will cut off access to Harbor and Shelter islands when parking is full, which usually happens around 3 p.m.
Free shuttle service is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. from designated parking lots that open at 5:30 p.m. Return shuttles will leave shortly after the fireworks show ends, with the last trip at 11 p.m.
The pickup and drop-off locations will be adjacent to West Marine, at the corner of Rosecrans and Carleton streets, for those going to Shelter Island, and the Port Administration Building, 3165 Pacific Highway, for those who want to go to Harbor Island.
Port officials asked for patience after the show, since wait times for return trips on the shuttles might be significant.