I learned something yesterday. Fireworks are important to a lot of people.

As you likely have heard the 78th annual Fireworks on the Toms River, hosted by the borough of Beachwood were cancelled which apparently ruined the holiday celebration for many. As a longtime member of the Fireworks Committee that helps organize this holiday tradition I can offer some facts on just what happened.

The company hired to provide this year’s show was Fireworks Extravaganza from New Rochelle, New Jersey. They’ve been in existence since 1995 and are licensed to perform displays in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia.  This was the first year they were being used as last year’s vendor was not available to put on a show in Beachwood.

The fireworks were expected to arrive from Maryland at noon yesterday with workers to then begin the set-up for the shoot which would begin just after 9pm.  When nobody showed up borough officials tried to contact Fireworks Extravaganza and it took an hour or so before a representative finally called back to say they could not deliver the fireworks because they did not have a hazmat driver licensed to make the delivery.

Beachwood Mayor Ron Roma never got a response as to how this could happen but the bottom line was there would be no fireworks.   You may have also heard the same company also bailed on a fireworks show in Milltown, a borough in Middlesex County who had to cancel their display last night as well.

Fireworks in Beachwood are a source of pride to the borough and done with great effort and contributions from the police and public works departments as well as volunteers from fire and first aid squads.

There is also tremendous coordination with surrounding towns, the State Police and the Coast Guard, something that is done over months.  For that reason you simply can’t re-schedule the show.

The fireworks show is put on with donations from the public and business community, WOBM among them.  Obviously the fireworks committee along with the borough of Beachwood will demand a full refund of the $17,000 paid for this year’s show and will put that money back into the trust that has allowed for this 4th of July tradition to continue for decades.

Mayor Roma said he and the entire Beachwood community are truly saddened by what happened yesterday and efforts will begin immediately to insure the skies above the Toms River are filled with fireworks in 2019.