John Casse and his team waited for four hours in the rain last Thursday before being told it wasn’t safe to shoot off his fireworks.
The owner and pyrotechnician of the Ocala-based Skylighters of Florida took shelter under a tent, hoping for a small gap of clear weather for Fanfares & Fireworks, an annual fireworks show on July 3 at Flavet Field, but it never came.
“The weather never cooperated,” he said.
Everyone will now have to wait another year to see the $10,000, 15-minute spectacle.
Casse said he never started setting up for the show because as soon as he arrived in Gainesville, it started to rain and lightning. In his 20 years of operating the show, last week was the first time it is was called off.
“There was no way it was going to happen that night,” he said.
However, all was not lost. Coordinator of the event Sue Wagner wrote in an email that people were still entertained with the live musical performances.
“There was a crowd on the field enjoying and dancing to the musical performances,” Wagner said.
The free event was put on by UF’s College of Journalism and Communications, including its media properties, WUFT and WRUF. Skylighters of Florida is providing next year’s Fanfares & Fireworks on credit for the rain out.
[A version of this story ran on page 4 on 7/10/2014 under the headline "Flavet Field fireworks display fizzled"]
In a panoramic photo, a crowd of students and residents gathers beneath an impending storm on campus at Flavet Field for UF’s Fanfares & Fireworks event in 2013.