Fireworks fiasco after company fails to provide pyrotechnics across Florida

Company blames weather woes for problems

By Louis Bolden - Investigative Reporter

APOPKA, Fla. - A company hired to put on Fourth of July fireworks shows did not deliver in at least four cities, including DeBary and Apopka. 

On Thursday, the sign in Apopka advertising fireworks on July Fourth was still up, but that's all that went up because the fireworks did not.

Alexis Neely and her two boys were among many people who paid $10 to park and sat for hours waiting, but never got a show.

"We were disappointed. The kids were disappointed. There were lots of people disappointed that were walking out," she said.

Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson pointed the finger of blame directly at Creative Pyrotechnics.

"I'm thinking they just weren't prepared," he said. "The technician they sent to run the event was inexperienced and inadequately staffed."

News 6 did some digging and discovered the company had firework debacles in four different Florida cities, including St. Petersburg and Gulfport.

The owner sent photos to News 6 and said flooding was to blame in DeBary. He said lightning was the issue in Apopka.

"I'm not buying that," Nelson said, noting that spectators could see the fireworks displays in nearby Ocoee.

News 6 obtained a copy of the contract and learned the city of Apopka spent nearly $25,000 on the fireworks that never happened. The city will now try to recover that money, the mayor said.

Some attendees said the worst part of the situation is that there was no communication at all.

"Nobody said anything. There was no apology," Neely said.

The mayor said the city didn't know there was a problem until after the fireworks were scheduled to start.

The city of Apopka used the same company for the Fourth of July the last two years and had no problems, according to the mayor.

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