Shelter Cove fireworks cancelled, neighbors lash out

Some Lowcountry families and visitors to Hilton Head Island are lashing-out on social media over the Independence Day fireworks show that never happened. The fireworks over Shelter Cove were supposed to light-off between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Monday night; however, the show was cancelled.

The Shelter Cove event organizers say it was cancelled at the last minute, because the fireworks company South East Pyrotechnics, Inc., did not show in time, and the fireworks got wet when unexpected rain came through. This is unacceptable to the disappointed neighbors who took to Facebook on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

“They totally dropped the ball,” Heather Price said. “It made me really uncomfortable.”

“You know, there’s right and there’s wrong and they should have really made an effort especially in the spirit of the holiday, we’re celebrating our country’s birthday,” Price said.

Price noted disappointed children, she says, when she took her family to Shelter Cove for the show.

“Someone just randomly walked by us and heard us talking about the fireworks, another patron, and just said that they had just heard that it was cancelled…and security was there. They weren’t saying anything- nobody official was saying anything,” Price said.

Shelter Cove Marketing Director Karen Kozemchak says security did make patrons aware the show was cancelled, after staff found out at about 6:45 p.m. She says there was a traffic sign to alert travelers and the band made announcements.

Kozemchak released this statement:

“First we’d like to apologize for the unfortunate incident that occurred last night with the cancellation of the fireworks show at Shelter Cove. The weather did play a part in this issue, although the show was cancelled because the fireworks vendor, South East Pyrotechnics failed to show-up and perform the contractual obligation. Obviously, this is not acceptable to us and we will not be working with this vendor going forward.

We are working hard at this minute to try to get a new show re-scheduled with a new vendor this week. We have a new vendor in place for the remaining six shows. We will keep you posted if we can solidify a show for this week. Again, we apologize and appreciate your understanding and continued support we work this issue.”

Price is bothered that she observed shuttles continuing to run people to the park, and that no vendor or merchant told her the show had been cancelled. She started a post on her Facebook page, ‘Bluffton/Hilton Head Ask and Answer.’

“You know, I have a Facebook page that I started, not thinking that it would take off and it really has,” she said. “I think people are angry and I think they have every right to be.”

Hudson’s Seafood Restaurant manager Andrew Carmines vouched for Shelter Cove.

“Shelter Cove is absolutely not responsible for the fact that the fireworks didn’t go off,” Carmines said.

Carmines’ fireworks show at Skull Creek narrowly happened, he says; he used South East Pyrotechnics, too. He says the company may have had a time management issue.

“It takes six to eight hours to wire these shows, and they didn’t show up until 3:00- 2:30 or 3:00 p.m.,” he said.

Carmines said he and another restaurant worker were able to help the fireworks company wire some of the equipment, with help from the fire marshal. He said he covered the equipment himself when the rain came, but Shelter Cove equipment had no cover.

“We had some storms come through that got all of Shelter Cove’s fireworks wet,” Carmines said.

NEWS 3 has reached out to South East Pyrotechnics, but phone calls have not been returned.

Shelter Cove said they’re unable to find a date to reschedule a make-up show. They will continue with the regularly scheduled Tuesday night shows for the next few weeks. They say going forward they’ll find a new company to contract.

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