San Diego Fireworks Display: 20 Minutes Blows Up in 15 Seconds

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July 5 2012 6:41 PM

San Diego Fireworks Display: 20 Minutes Blows Up in 15 Seconds

What happens if you set off all the fireworks at once? Now we know.

On July 4, San Diego’s annual Big Bay Boom fireworks display was exactly that—a 15-second premature explosion of pyrotechnics that featured 20 minutes of fireworks all at once.

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The Port of San Diego and Garden State Fireworks company sent out a statement apologizing for the “brevity” of the show, blaming a technical glitch even though much of the pre-show testing was successful.

Admittedly, the result was in itself pretty amazing and kind of beautiful—the giant blast created what resembled huge fuzzy light bulbs, and the video of what may be the shortest big-city fireworks event in recent history features plenty of cheers.

Is this what happens when you let robots replace crazy people when it comes to lighting the fuses? Garden State Fireworks is supposedly continuing to work out the answer. In the meantime, let’s light some sparklers in remembrance. But not all at once!

Video by Dallas Jensen.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.