WESTERLY — A Independence Day fireworks show in Misquamicut will not occur tonight.
Caswell Cooke Jr., executive director of the Misquamicut Business Association, said the association decided last winter not to put on a 4th of July show after last year's fireworks were criticized as being difficult to see.
The MBA has conducted 4th of July fireworks about six times in the past 20 years, Cooke said. On some summers the association has sponsored fireworks on successive Monday nights. Last year the Fourth of July fireworks were set off from a location on the north side of Winnapaug Pond after Misquamicut Fire Chief Todd Findeisen said he was not comfortable with the former location, the town-owned parking lot on Atlantic Avenue adjacent to Water Wizz of Westerly, where the MBA runs a drive-in movie series.
"We just didn't schedule them this year. It's not like there was a long tradition, we did them a couple of years," Cooke said Wednesday.
Findeisen confirmed that he did not approve of using the town-owned lot for fireworks because of its proximity to people and vehicles. "It's a very congested area down at the beach. For safety reasons I said I wasn't comfortable with that location," he said.
In addition to the spot used last year, Findeisen said fireworks could conceivably be set off from a barge on Winnapug Pond. Cooke said an individual offered to give the MBA a barge but the association would have been responsible for getting it to the pond and assembling it, which Cooke said would have cost about $8,000.
"Then there's the question of what to do with the barge the other 364 days of the year," Cooke said.