Independence Day celebrations kick off with 8,562 blasts

Bremerton Bridge Blast first of its kind in Kitsap

There will be more than 8,500 firework shells and display cakes shot off the Manette Bridge at the first Bremerton Bridge Blast, 10:15 p.m. July 1.                                Kitsap News Group file photos

There will be more than 8,500 firework shells and display cakes shot off the Manette Bridge at the first Bremerton Bridge Blast, 10:15 p.m. July 1. Kitsap News Group file photos

BREMERTON — Celebrate Independence Day with a blast on July 1. Specifically, celebrate the holiday with 8,562 blasts of firework shells and display cakes off the Manette Bridge at 10:15 p.m.

For the Bremerton Bridge Blast, the Manette Bridge will be shut down during the day of July 1. Aside from the show stopping fireworks, there will also be vendors, live music, an air show and more, all together part of the first fireworks show of its kind, at least in Kitsap.

“There is no fireworks show ever been done on a bridge that anyone alive can remember, I think,” said John Miller, with Boomtown Productions and Halo Fireworks, and the organizer of the event. “There’s never been a fireworks show in Kitsap County in conjunction with an air show. You’re putting two great ideas and events together into one.

“I want it eventually to be the biggest show in the state. I think we can get there.”

Plus, this is the only public fireworks show in Bremerton, period.

“This is the first show that Bremerton’s had since … I don’t even know,” Miller said. “Might be the 1940s. Putting a show, finally, in people’s back yards, it’s going to be seen (from all over).”

Jeff Elevado, Bremerton Parks and Recreation director, said there will be viewing sites at Evergreen Rotary Park, on the Bremerton boardwalk, the northeast side of the Warren Avenue bridge and more,

“I think it is (good),” Elevado said of the fireworks show. “It does take resources, but we’re always happy to be a partner and work with groups to bring people into Bremerton. It’s going to be pretty cool. It’s different, it’s something a lot of folks have never seen before, and I think it’s going to be pretty cool.

“I think it’s a great benefit to the community, particularly since we don’t allow fireworks in the parks.”

Miller said that the best view of the show will be the Bremerton Louis Mentor Boardwalk, with the exception of the VIP viewing area on board the USS Turner Joy, for the show’s sponsors.

The Bremerton Bridge Blast is an idea that’s been kicking around for a few years, Miller said, but it wasn’t until this year, when local developer Trish Williams, who is in the process of opening an apartment complex called Rebekah’s Pointe near the Evergreen Rotary Park, spoke to Miller, that it finally came together.

“She has always done fireworks with me, consumer fireworks, for maybe 12 years,” Miller said. Miller has been doing fireworks shows for 20 years or so, and said Williams would go to him for backyard firework shows. “This year, she wanted to do something even bigger. I said I’ve been kicking around the idea of doing the Bremerton Bridge Blast. She said, ‘I want to sponsor this. Let me sponsor this.’ ”

Miller said Williams’ support was amazing, and “without her support, we would not have a fireworks show, no way.”

Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent was also a huge help in organizing the event, Miller said, as well as many city departments that worked together to get permits and organize shutting the bridge down for a day.

“It’s a lot of work to organize and close the bridge and do a fireworks show of this scale,” Miller said. “We thank (them all).”

The sponsors and departments that helped organized the event listed on the website include Rebekah’s Pointe, ClearView Venture Group, Brothers PowerSports, Bremerton Fire Department, City of Bremerton, Corliss Painting, KCB Environmental, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, Miller Woodlawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park, Viking Fence, West Sound Abatement, Boomtown Production and Halo Fireworks.

The Manette Bridge will be closed from 9 a.m. July 1 until 1 a.m. July 2 for the show.

“We’ve got cool effects that may have never been done before,” Miller said of his show. “(Including) the waterfall effect off the bridge. Huge, long, stringing sparks … we’re going to do that. It’s going to be amazing.

“We’ve (Boomtown Productions and Halo Fireworks) done a lot of events over time,” Miller said. “It’s only natural for us to do this there. It provides something for the public. Having the music, vendors, air show — these are cool things that kids and families can do while enjoying the nice day before the fireworks show.”

The food and vendors will be at the Bremerton Louis Mentor Boardwalk starting at noon, with the music starting at 6 p.m. The air show will be at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“My one goal (for the Bridge Blast) is shock and awe,” Miller said. “For people to say, ‘Man, I have never seen anything like that in my life. I have got to see this every year.’ I want people to say, ‘I want to be a part of that.’ ”

Miller said he’s never done a show of this scale in his decades-long career, and he only wants it to grow bigger and bigger, until one day, the Bremerton Bridge Blast is the largest fireworks show in the state.

To learn more about the Bremerton Bridge Blast, visit bremertonbridgeblast.com.

Michelle Beahm is the online editor for the Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at mbeahm@soundpublishing.com.

There will be more than 8,500 firework shells and display cakes shot off the Manette Bridge at the first Bremerton Bridge Blast, 10:15 p.m. July 1.                                Kitsap News Group file photos

There will be more than 8,500 firework shells and display cakes shot off the Manette Bridge at the first Bremerton Bridge Blast, 10:15 p.m. July 1. Kitsap News Group file photos

There will be more than 8,500 firework shells and display cakes shot off the Manette Bridge at the first Bremerton Bridge Blast, 10:15 p.m. July 1.                                Kitsap News Group file photos

There will be more than 8,500 firework shells and display cakes shot off the Manette Bridge at the first Bremerton Bridge Blast, 10:15 p.m. July 1. Kitsap News Group file photos

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