Updating Breaking News:

Fireworks show canceled by pyrotechnics vendor

Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson has released a statement on the City’s Facebook Page about last night’s cancellation of the fireworks display at the 4th of July celebration:

“First, I would like to thank the thousands who came out to the Fourth of July Celebration last night. Our staff did an outstanding job putting together a family-friendly event from the music by The Legendary JCs and Tommy Z to the bounce houses, face painting, and balloon artists. We appreciate the Boy Scouts who helped with the parking and the many others who helped in planning the event.

As your Mayor, I need to apologize to everyone who came out to watch an amazing fireworks display only to be disappointed that Creative Pyrotechnics did not perform. Creative Pyrotechnics had produced our 4th of July Fireworks in 2016 and 2017 as well as the Old Florida Outdoor Festival in 2017. The fireworks purchase order was signed one day prior to my swearing in and the Council had no reason to doubt the company since they had successfully produced three events for us in the past. Unfortunately, the pyrotechnic technician sent to handle our event was inexperienced and didn’t have adequate help. At 5:00 p.m. he realized that he was missing some hardware and had to go back to the office in Deland to pick up additional supplies, which put him 90 minutes behind schedule. The vendor did not inform our staff that there was a problem until 8:30 p.m. Creative Pyrotechnics even asked our city employees to help load the firework tubes but by 9:00 p.m. less than half had been loaded. We requested that even half the display of fireworks should be released but were told no. After an additional delay, Creative Pyrotechnics finally called the show off and within 10 minutes our staff went on stage and informed the public that the show had been cancelled.

I apologize for the inconvenience and understand your frustration but please understand that the City was at the mercy of Creative Pyrotechnics to perform their duties and they didn’t. We are looking at all legal remedies. We as a city apologize for not keeping the public better informed at the event and on social media but, unfortunately, we were not aware of all of the issues behind the scenes until too late.

The employees at the City and I are committed to making this right. We are working on a FREE Labor Day celebration event complete with fireworks to make up for the disappointing finish to our 4th of July event and hope to see you all there.”

Bryan Nelson



  1. I watched Channel 6 News this evening and saw Mayor Nelson in front of city hall on tv explaining what went wrong with the firework show. Also, I had written here on the Apopka Voice about the LED drone shows that they had in Carefree, Arizona, and other cities, to replace dangerous fireworks. Well, what I saw initially on the internet, in Carefree, was thousands of drones, in complex patterns, that looked like stars in the sky, there were so many. However Channel 6, which I was watching this evening, showed Carefree’s drone show, and it only featured 100 drones at a time, and had rather simple designs, and was different looking drones that what I told you all about. So if you were disappointed in Apopka, for the canceled fireworks show, Channel 6 said the Debary fireworks show was cancelled also, and it was the same pyrotech company that called it off here in Apopka, and two other cities somewhere around….the same company. Plus, in cites out west, that banned fireworks, but that had scheduled LED drone shows…. they ended up cancelled too, due to high winds in some areas…..sigh. The show goes on here in this neighborhood and street however, no matter what!

  2. I do hope that this company will not be hired again. I wasn’t there as I work in Apopka but don’t live there, but anyone who conducts business like this shouldn’t be allowed back. I do hope they weren’t paid in advance.

  3. Lack of leadership placing blame on others. Post and highlife date on invoices as if it could remove the city leaderships responsibilities? Should the previous mayor been there to manage the vendor he hired?

  4. Debbie and I saw the drone show by Intel at Disney a year and a half ago on Christmas night, and it was pretty neat, but in our opinion and a lot of others that saw it, not nearly as exciting as fireworks. I think they used something like 400 drones in the air at the same time, but the show didn’t last very long either, as I guess the drones don’t have long life batteries.

  5. I’m hugely disappointed and insulted that this response and highlighted purchase order removes responsibility in our mayors or his PR team’s mind

  6. It would be better to discuss how procedures are being instituted to assure the company or any fireworks vendor is being properly supervised. It would be better to commit to not charging struggling families to park. It would be better to commit to a process for better communication in case if emergency.

  7. I’m suprised people are leaving comments stating they are highly disappointed by the mayors response. What do you expect for him to know the future? The company obviously had a good track record from years past they just couldn’t deliver because the tech was incompetent. As far as returning the money you paid I’m sure standing in line at 10:30 or 11 at night on the 4th of July for hours on end would have upset you more than just saying hey I spent 10 dollars and got out to talk to my neighbors for a few hours your all acting like it was a 100 Disney ticket.

    • Right on Kevin, more people should have a positive attitude like yours, have seen more shows get cancelled in my lifetime, but none for this reason, the City had no control over this companies in ineptitude.

  8. Reading the above contract documents, who would know in advance, except a psychic, that it wasn’t going to turn out great….The description of the firework types, sounds like it would have been a really a great show. If you are mad, I actually don’t blame you for being let down, but just look at that video picture of the lightning bolt hitting the Apopka Police Department parking lot, so keep that in mind…..the lightning could have struck out there in that open field, with everyone out there, including the kiddies, that would have been a tragedy. NWRC has lightning alarms out there, I think they call it the Thor System, so did the lightning alarms go off out there, with the heat lightning in the distance? I wasn’t there, but was curious about the lightning alarms out there, and if they alarmed at anytime you all were out there gathered together, since the pyro technical company claimed it was cancelled because of the weather?

  9. Michael, I never thought about the drone batteries running down. I understand they used the drones in shows at the Olympic games, and the Super Bowl too. Maybe if they used some recorded sounds of real loud fireworks, or some loud rock music, it would be more exciting, or for REAl excitement maybe some anti-aircraft gunning or gunfire….( just kidding ) but I bet that would give them something to talk about…lol

  10. I arrived to the Park at the same time the two fireworks trucks arrived at around 2:30. It was raining cats and dogs at the time. I was there for a totally unrelated reason (Pokémon Go) I stayed at the park for about 40 minutes. I watched the trucks drive around for about 15 or 20 minutes looking lost. By the time I left, the trucks still had not made it to the Amphitheater. when I arrived to my home, I told my wife the company was cutting it close since there was only six hours to show time. Since we were headed to SeaWorld to view their fireworks show, it was just a passing thought. We can see the fireworks off our bedroom lanai and thought it was strange there was no noise and lights when we arrived home. We aborted the SeaWorld mission due to bad traffic. I don’t think Mayor Nelson or the city is responsible for this debacle. This is on the fireworks company. I feel for those individuals who paid 10 dollars for this event and are upset. Maybe you can contact the city for a refund or deduct it from your taxes?


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