With the summer of 2010 shaping up to be not exactly peachy for many towns on the Gulf of Mexico as they watch balls of oil drift toward their shores, a number of folks in the region won’t even have their traditional July 4 fireworks to look forward to.
Several towns along the now-oily area of the Gulf usually stage their fireworks displays over the water. But, fearing what could happen when fireworks sparks meet crude oil, at least one has already called of their plans with others poised to do so if the situation worsens.
The sponsor of the canceled fireworks in Grand Isle, La., says she didn’t want to play the waiting game to see if the oil got close enough to shore to be a risk
“We didn’t even get that far. We canceled it,” she explains, adding that she couldn’t imagine the Coast Guard “letting us pop the fireworks with oil everywhere… We see the oil coming … and thinking of parents and kids, I wouldn’t want them to be down there.”
Other towns along the coast that traditionally use offshore barges for their displays are taking a wait-and-see attitude.
“A lot would have to happen with us to not do the fireworks,” says a spokesman for Gulf Shores, MS, who says the city might not decide until July 3. “But if we get a wave of that stuff up to the Fourth of July, we will have to postpone.”
And in Ocean Springs, Miss., the city’s parks director says, “We are going to do everything we can to have it.”
Meanwhile the fireworks on the river in New Orleans are going ahead as planned, with organizers expecting between 150-200,000 gawkers.