New plan for Newport fireworks

Fireworks in Newport will no longer be shot from the barge pictured here during last year’s display. Instead, the deteriorated barge will be replaced with a launch site at the International Terminal. (File photo)

The Newport Fourth of July fireworks display was almost canceled this year, but thanks to the Port of Newport, the pyrotechnics will go off as planned.

Newport Fire Chief Rob Murphy said that the barge used as a launching point over the past several years had fallen into disrepair and been deemed unsuitable for the 2019 event.

“We started looking in January, when it became apparent that there wasn’t an alternative barge available. We were honestly out of options when we went to the port,” Murphy said.

With a nod from the Port Commission, staff members began working out the details to allow the Fire Department and its vendor, Western Display Fireworks, to use the western-most edge of the International Terminal property.

“We are very grateful because we were honestly out of options,” Murphy said. “If they wouldn’t have agreed to that, we would not have a fireworks show this year.”

Paula Miranda, port general manager, said the port was happy to help rescue an event that is an important part of the Independence Day tradition in Newport.

“We could not imagine a scenario where the community would have missed out on fireworks,” she explained. “While we may have to move a minimal amount of equipment, it will be worth it to know the port played a role in the celebration.”

Locals and visitors alike will find the viewing experience to have little change as compared to previous years, according to Murphy.

“The fireworks will be shot off at an angle for the full display over the middle of the bay,” he explained. “People can watch from the same locations they have enjoyed over the years.”

There will be no public access to the International Terminal area on July Fourth due to safety concerns, according to Miranda. The west gate to the International Terminal will be closed and the east entrance will be blocked to vehicle traffic. While there is no opportunity to view the fireworks from the Terminal, there are many other vantage points found around the Yaquina Bay harbor.

To learn more about the Port of Newport, visit www.portofnewport.com or visit us on Facebook at facebook.com/PortofNewport. 

— Port of Newport

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