City of Sequim staff will begin negotiations to bring a fireworks show to Carrie Blake Community Park on Independence Day. In non-pandemic years, Sequim hosts fireworks each May for the Sequim Irrigation Festival Logging Show, as seen here in 2018. (Michael Dashiell /Olympic Peninsula News Group)

City of Sequim staff will begin negotiations to bring a fireworks show to Carrie Blake Community Park on Independence Day. In non-pandemic years, Sequim hosts fireworks each May for the Sequim Irrigation Festival Logging Show, as seen here in 2018. (Michael Dashiell /Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim in negotiations for holiday show

Contingency plan allows for other dates if pandemic persists

SEQUIM — Plans are forming for fireworks this Fourth of July in Sequim, barring any setbacks with the pandemic.

Barbara Hanna, Sequim’s marketing and communications director, got the OK, in an unofficial vote, from city council members on Monday to proceed with negotiations with Western Display Fireworks of Canby, Ore.

She said during the Feb. 8 city council meeting that the company proposed a 20-minute show for $15,000. Hanna added that city council members approved the Sequim Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) budget last year where funds are budgeted for the show.

When asked when and where a show would occur, she said it’d be at about 10 p.m. on the Fourth of July.

“With our community, I’m not sure we’d want to do it later (to not conflict with Port Angeles’ planned fireworks),” she said.

After scouting locations with the city’s public works staff and fireworks display staff, Hanna said they felt the Albert Haller Playfields in the northern part of Carrie Blake Community Park would be best because it’s open, irrigated and holds ample parking

Hanna said the fireworks company staff told her they did a show last summer in a ball field similar to Sequim’s proposed location and “it worked well” because “people just hung out with their families at their cars” for social distancing measures.

A 25 percent deposit is due now, she said, with another 25 percent due 30 days in advance of the show as they would begin preparations to bring fireworks to the city.

Normally, they have a 90-day policy if issues with the date, but due to the pandemic and potential regulation changes, they’re willing to extend a contract through New Year’s Eve, Hanna said.

“Hopefully by July we won’t have to wait,” she said.

Other alternative days could include Labor Day or New Year’s Eve for fireworks, city staff identified.

Planning

Discussions for fireworks began after former mayor and council member Dennis Smith suggested city staff look into an illuminated drone show on the Fourth of July, similar to Sequim’s Sunshine Festival show on March 7, 2020.

His intent was meant to provide a city Fourth of July celebration in some manner after residents decided in an advisory vote to ban the discharge of fireworks in November 2016, with 65.6 percent in favor of the prohibition. The council passed the ban soon after the vote.

However, Hanna received a quote of $46,410 for a 15-minute drone show for the date, which council members found too expensive compared with the $32,800 March show during the company’s offseason.

Council members asked Hanna to consult with the LTAC, a committee of hotels, bed and breakfasts and tourism officials, but they recommended not to use hotel/motel tax funds to support a Fourth of July drone show because they felt it should remain a Sequim Sunshine Festival staple.

The committee later agreed to a fireworks show.

Sequim’s proposed Independence Day fireworks show would be the second of its kind in the city following the Sequim Irrigation Festival’s Logging Show on the second weekend of May.

Festival organizers held a virtual festival in 2020 with an online display of fireworks from previous years due to the pandemic.

For more information on the Sequim City Council, visit www.sequimwa.gov or call 360-683-4139.

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