Third Third’s a charm

Published: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 11:13 AM.

Following the parade, the crowd enjoyed scooped vanilla ice cream, kept intact in a freezer at the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and the Arts, Mayor Van Johnson welcomed the gathering, as the first hint of dusk began to settle on the festivities. The silent auction all afternoon led to a live auction conducted by Harry Arnold and Chuck Spicer, and that brought in additional monies.

As a lead-in to the fireworks, Tobacco Rd. offered their brand of electrified country, and the Hillside Choir, led by Pastor Horace Solomon with solos by Maxine Kellogg, presented gospel music to an appreciative crowd.  Charles Elliott, the county’s veterans service officer, offered remarks as a salute to those who have fought to secure the nation’s freedoms, and Debi Fletcher sang an electrifying version of the Star-Spangled Banner,

For the third year in a row, the fireworks were done by Pyro-Shows out of Tennessee. “They’ve been so wonderful for us,” said Bachrach. “It’s been bigger every year. We’ve increased the number of fireworks and we’ll continue to that.”

Donations from sponsors, augmented by the proceeds from food and beer sales, more than covered the $15,000 price tag for the show.

The 18-minute fireworks show, from 9:18 to 9:36 p.m. took a lot of advance preparation by local pyrotechnic wizard Mike Cates and his crew, by loading a bunker on the barge with all the combustibles, and configuring all the wiring and the electronics.

“It takes two days to get all the stuff built on the barge,” which was donated by Bill Grimes, and moved into place by Tommy Ward’s crew, said Bachrach.

After securing the required approval from both Homeland Security and the Coast Guard, event organizers made sure the explosives were under the watch of law enforcement personnel, he said.

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