By MIKE DONOGHUE,
Islander Staff Writer
ALBURGH – Organizers for an early July 4th fireworks display in Alburgh said Sunday they are postponing the show due to electrical rainstorms forecast for early this week.
The special show – like nothing Vermont has ever seen – was planned for 9:20 p.m. Monday with a rain date of Tuesday evening, according to Matthew Lavigne of Green Mountain Fireworks.
But it looks like Mother Nature has other major plans for the skies this week.
“It is with great sadness that I must inform you that we are forced to postpone the fireworks display due to the impending electrical storms that begin today and are forecast to continue through the night of the 1st,” Lavigne said in an email Sunday.
“We would press forward if it were just rain and wind. Electrical storms simply make it too dangerous when there is more than a mile of copper wire on the ground in the middle of a ton of explosives,” he wrote.
The 20-minute show would be choreographed with appropriate Independence Day music and available for people through live streaming, he said. Lavigne said the Alburgh event would be greater than the fireworks show last year in Burlington, which spent $40,000.
A fireworks celebration in Grand Isle planned for Friday, July 3 is still set, according to Bill Champagne of the Island Center for Arts and Recreation (ICAR). The towns of Grand Isle, North Hero and South Hero are among those supporting the event, which has a rain date of Sunday, July 5.
In Alburgh, the idea is to postpone the fireworks show until possibly the fall or winter, Lavigne said. By that time, he said the hope is it will also be safer for crowds to gather.
The town of Alburgh had earlier pulled the plug on its annual parade and fireworks for July 4.
Green Mountain Fireworks later sought a town permit for its own show next to its business on U.S. 2 on Monday evening.
Alburgh residents were being encouraged to view them from home because of the musical scores that were planned to accompany the pyrotechnics, Lavigne had said.
The Alburgh Selectboard discussed the fireworks show during its special meeting on Thursday night. The plan was to have no parking along U.S. 2 near Green Mountain Fireworks. The Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department and Vermont State Police would be asked to help keep traffic moving, Lavigne said.
The show used the name: “A 1st for the 4th: Vermont’s COVID-19 Edition Fireworks Exhibition.”
It also was known as “The Fireworks Show That Comes to You” said Selectboard member Kenneth Millman, who was assisting with publicity. In order to get the full impact, people need to both hear the music and see the fireworks.
Millman said besides being live streamed to computers and smart devices via two South Burlington radio stations there also was a plan to re-broadcast the fireworks show on TV on Saturday July 4.
Lavigne said the hope was people enjoying the fireworks would consider supporting a Go-Fund Me Page for the Alburgh Family Clubhouse, a proposed new center designed to provide desperately needed childcare and afterschool programs in the community.
Lavigne said his company and the clubhouse will split the Go-Fund Me donations. About $750,000 of the $1 million goal for the clubhouse has been raised, officials said