By Kent Gray

Triplicate staff writer

Crescent City has the potential to become the Fourth of July fireworks capital of the state, according to the man who shot off this years Independence Day pyrotechnic show.

This years show lasted 23 minutes and could be seen for miles, according to Will Foster, the pyrotechnician in charge at Boom Boom Productions, the company contracted to put on the show.

Foster said Crescent Citys favorable layout, allowing large firework shells to be fired over water, and the generous funds allotted for the show combine to make the town unique for such pyrotechnics.

I believe Crescent City has the potential to be the best show in the state, Foster said. Because of your location and venue, Crescent City could be famous throughout California.

This years show had a pricetag of $25,600, according to Foster, but he added the show actually had a display value over $30,000, because Boom Boom tossed in additional fireworks this year to replace some unexploded shells from last year.

The cost is kept down because we use Chinese fireworks, which are cheaper than American, Foster said. The four-inch shells were the littlest in the show and run from $10 to $15 apiece. The five-inch shells are about $25 apiece.

Wednesday nights extravaganza featured fireworks called hearts, rings, bow-ties, saturns and golden willows; the last, mimicking a golden weeping willow tree, was among the largest 8-inch shells fired.

I think we even had some happy faces in there, Foster said.

The funds for the show originated with last years annual deck party at the Crescent City Cultural Center, which generated $8,600. Crescent City and Elk Valley Casino each matched that amount, according to Jeff Russell of the Crescent City-Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce.

This was the best show Ive seen yet, Russell said. It was amazing; they all did a really excellent job.

Fire Chief Steve Wakefield said he was happy the fire department was not in charge of the show this year, as had been the case in years past.

We did it for many, many years before the money for the show got so great, Wakefield said. It became too much. Last year, we had to start setting up on July 2 and continued on to the 3rd and 4th. For a volunteer fire department, that was a lot to ask.

According to Wakefield, this year the department could relax a little and watch the show for a change, while also providing security and monitoring the illegal fireworks as best they could.

The illegal fireworks made us a little nervous, said Foster, as he stood among the hundred-or-so empty rocket canisters. Theres always a worry one of them might end up landing over here.

Foster said he hopes to be back for next years show possibly bringing in some even greater pyrotechnics to brighten the harbor.

Id like to bring in some 12-inch shells, or even 16-inch shells, Foster said. You have the location here to accommodate them. And these you wouldnt believe; they will light up the sky from horizon to horizon.