Tampa fireworks organizers aim to make up for last year's dud

- Organizers for Tampa's Independence Day celebration expected to draw a big crowd of spectators hoping to see a better display than last year, when the show was a dud.

The event, which was moved to the Convention Center because of construction in the Channelside area, is produced by the Friends of the Riverwalk, whose executive director, Jason Carroll, is confident this year's show will be a success.

"Last year's show, there was a mistake that happened. The pyro company took ownership of that. It was an expensive mistake for them and they have guaranteed us that mistake won't happen this year," Carroll said.

A computer glitch forced the fireworks company to stop the show after about seven minutes last year.

Carroll explained what's different this year.

"They were using a new technology last year that would sync the music specifically up to the fireworks show -- very, very specifically," he said. "We had done a fireworks shows synced to music for years prior to that with no issues, not using that program. So what we did for New Year's Eve and what we're doing for July Fourth this year is we're going back to the way we've always done it."

He said the old program worked fine during the fireworks show that helped ring in the new year.

A lot of people who witnessed last year's display were willing to give it another chance.

"It's going to be amazing. They're going to put it right here in front of the marina here, so it should be pretty good," said Mike Maltarp, who last year was operating a boat full of excited people who were ultimately let down.  "Everybody came just for the fireworks and there was no fireworks."

"We are excited. We just bought a condo at Sky Point, so we're thinking about going down to the pool deck and watching the fireworks," added Janet Skeens of Tampa. "I'm hopeful for a good show. There's hopefully no computer glitches. Hopefully it's smooth sailing."

The show was scheduled to start at 9 p.m., weather permitting.

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