Fireworks company offers refund for Marquette 4th of July misfire

The company responsible for the Marquette 4th of July fireworks display has offered both an apology and refund for the abrupt and early ending to this year’s show.

At a meeting Tuesday morning, the Marquette Area 4th of July Fireworks Committee accepted a letter issued late last week by Great Lakes Fireworks LLC, expressing remorse for the mishap that ended the fireworks prematurely.

Officials say that the problem arose when a dislodged device tipped over, burning a main cable and cutting off communication to a majority of the fireworks. By the time the point of error was located, the company decided to stop the show due to the time lapse and concern for safety of the technicians.

In the letter, Great Lakes Fireworks co-owner Bruce Tyree also offered to waive any charge for the fireworks that were deployed at the event and refund $20,000 of the $25,000 the committee paid.

“We’re trying to do our best to show our gratitude to Marquette and the community,” said Tyree. “As far as I see it, they contracted with us to provide a service. We didn’t provide that service, so I don’t see how I could charge the committee or the community for a service that we didn’t provide.”

“I think we would have preferred to have the show, but let’s move forward with it. Let’s take it, let’s build on it, and move forward,” fireworks committee chair Tom Baldini said. “We will use that money to begin building. We always plan, and this year, we set off, we said we wanted to raise 50 (thousand dollars), of which 20 would be used for the 2015 season. We have that, and we have more, but we are going to continue, because our expectation is always to start building a reserve so that every year you don’t have to play catch up.”

The fireworks committee utilized the meeting to close out this season and look forward to 2015. Both the committee and Great Lakes Fireworks, who has provided the pyrotechnics show for seven years, are optimistic for next year.