Computer problem halts Channelside fireworks

- The sky above Tampa was supposed to light up for the Fourth of July Tuesday, but a computer issue left the skyline dark and visitors disappointed.

Thousands of people crowded into Channelside early for the fireworks show, making sure they got a prime spot. People even stood in line to secure one of 2,500 coveted wristbands that would get them up close to the action.

But after only five minutes of the fireworks show, the display stopped without explanation. Tampa Fire Rescue tells FOX 13 News, the computer that controls lighting the fireworks crashed about seven minutes into the show. They tried to manually light the fireworks, but things didn't go as planned. 

Devon Magill tweeted a photo of the barge used to shoot off the fireworks, saying most of them did not go off. 

But the day was not lost for everyone. At Tampa's Channelside Bay Plaza, it was a festival of all the things red, white and blue for the Light Up Tampa Bay Independence Day Celebration.

Kevin Lopez and Melanie Godinez were stars and stripes from head to toe; dressed to observe the 4th.

"It's just 4th of July so I thought, let's just have some fun today," Godinez said as she showed off her beads and sparkling face stickers.

"To me, it's independence, celebrating your freedom, be who you want to be, have a great time with family and friends," Lopez added.

It was a time to kick back, listen to some tunes, and reflect on what makes America great.

"I love Independence Day, I love the Marine Corps birthday," said Robbie Stroud.

Stroud has served in the U.S. Marines for 8 years. He's spent time overseas. And, it's days like July 4th that remind him why he wears the uniform.

"I love doing what I do and every 4th, I always sit down and just thank my blessings and thank my father because he joined the Navy back in the 80s," Stroud said. "So, I thank everybody that's ever joined and I will appreciate America in the best way."

He and his girlfriend Katelyn Rumblik showed their appreciation right down to the matching stars and stripes on their socks. Even their dog, Ryder got into the spirit with a bandana around his neck as he waited for the fireworks.

"He loves them," said Rumblik.

Of course, that's what everyone was looking forward to.

"Just looking forward to the fireworks and the awe, the spectacle that comes every year," said Stroud.

Even without the spectacle of the show, all of the fun was for a good cause. The event benefited Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay. There was also a special appearance by the Tampa Bay Lightning girls, Thunderbug and the Rays Street Team.

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