San Diego Fireworks Bust: Mushroom Cloud-Like Fail Becomes Beautiful In Itself (+Video)

San Diego’s largest 4th of July fireworks show went bust last night as technical difficulties activated the totality of the fireworks -- all at once -- reducing the thrill and length of a promised 15-minute display to an intensely bright (and brief) 30-second bust. 

Five minutes before 9 p.m., when the show was supposed to start, the estimated half-million spectators who had gathered at San Diego Bay and waited for hours for one of the country's most legendaries 4th of July fireworks show saw an intensively brilliant -- albeit brief -- display that prompted awe, then disappointment.


San Diego’s 'Big Bay Boom' is regarded and anticipated as one of the largest 4th of July fireworks shows in the nation. This year, the fireworks were supposed to be launched from five barges in the San Diego Bay. Organizers had billed yesterday's show as the biggest and more intense yet, as they set up buses and shuttles for spectators and hotels in the area offered special rates for visitors. 

However, the technical failure was a bummer as spectators first thought the bright explosion was a yacht that had caught fire, only to be awed then disappointed by the briefest 4th of July fireworks show yet.

Garden State Fireworks, the firm producing the show, apologized for "the brevity of the show" and promised to further investigate the causes of the glitch, which questions the role of modern digital technology in organizing one of the country's most beloved yearly traditions.