The opening day of Waco Wonderland will include a fireworks show meant to make up for the July 4 production that went awry.
Saturday evening’s show will be between 12 and 15 minutes long and be Christmas-themed, said Jonathan Cook, city community promotions specialist.
The fireworks are a replacement for an Independence Day show that did not go as planned at Waco’s Fourth on the Brazos celebration. The company in charge, Atlas Enterprises, misplaced a battery needed to launch the fireworks. Workers found a different power source, but were only able to launch about eight minutes of fireworks.
Atlas, based in Fort Worth, refunded the $15,000 contract for the production, but the company wanted to give Waco an additional show, Cook said.
Waco Wonderland organizers wanted a fireworks show with the weeklong celebration, but cut funding for it during the budgeting process to make room for other items. When Atlas offered the free show, city officials thought it would fit with the program, Cook said.
“Atlas honestly wanted to make things right,” Cook said.
Since July, Atlas was bought by a different company, and now goes by the name Pyro Shows of Texas, said general manager Steve Frantz. He said affiliation with Pyro Shows means the company now has a larger variety of fireworks that are better quality.
“We know that the city of Waco’s events are very important to the community, and we know they expect a professional and quality show,” Frantz said.
“We know that the disappointment is more than just the value of the fireworks show itself, so we wanted to show the community what we could do, and give back something that would benefit them.”
He said the show will be choreographed to Christmas music both traditional and contemporary, and will finish with a “dynamic and powerful ending score.”
The show will be launched from the Brazos river area, and will be viewable from Heritage Square, Frantz said. He said the show will feature high-aerial fireworks, making it easy to see from downtown.
The weather will be mostly sunny with a high in the low 60s and a low in the upper 40s, according to the National Weather Service, which should make for good conditions for the show.
“Any time you do an eight-day outdoor event in December, it’s a roll of the dice, but it looks like this weather is going to cooperate,” Cook said.
The fireworks show will conclude Waco Wonderland’s opening day. It will be preceded by school and church choir performances from 5 to 7:45 p.m. and the Christmas tree lighting at 7:45 p.m. The fireworks will start at 8 p.m.