The 39th Red, White and Boom Fireworks show was canceled Thursday night as a dust storm came through the area about two hours into the festivities.
Volunteers began warning vendors of the coming storm around 7 p.m. Organizers hoped the storm would pass quickly, but strong winds and lightning followed the dust. At around 8 p.m., organizers were forced to end the event early with no fireworks.
The event requires thousands in donations and sponsorships to put on each year and months of preparation to get the right licenses and permits. Most of those costs still had to be paid and the event could not be rescheduled.
“The costs are still incurred from permits that were pulled and entertainment that was there, the fencing and security,” said Anne Gill, president and CEO of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce.
Gill said the company hired for the fireworks, Fireworks Productions of Arizona, is working closely with the chamber.
“They’re a great company,” Gill said. “They love this event, and they love this community. They’re working with us to roll things into next year and have a bigger and better event next year.”
Rawhide honored tickets that the chamber had sold for their VIP Boom! Room and allowed those guests to attend their fireworks show on Friday or Saturday for free.
This was the first time the event has been canceled due to a storm that Gill could recall.
Thanks to the help of volunteers, police and firefighters who were on scene, no injuries were reported.
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