Request for Fireworks Funding

This letter was presented at the February 12th Occupancy Tax Board meeting.

February 11, 2015

Dear Occupancy Tax Board,

A subcommittee of the Ocracoke Civic and Business Association formed at the January OCBA meeting for the purpose of researching options to bring fireworks back to Ocracoke’s July 4th festivities.

We’ve been talking to Justin Pruett at Pyrotecnico in Columbia, SC ( They are the same company that does Avon’s fireworks. They carry a $10 million liability policy (NC law only requires $2 million) and have an excellent record. (Please see attached sample contract and insurance information.) They would shoot the fireworks off a barge (provided by Darren Burrus) out in the sound. Pyrotecnico handles all the permits for the event.

At the February 2nd Hyde County commissioners meeting, the commissioners voted to sponsor the fireworks event and act as the “certificate-holder” for insurance purposes. OCBA and others will be listed as additional insureds.

OCBA will include the fireworks show in our advertising, we will ask the realty companies to help spread the word and we will also make heavy use of social media and any other free avenues available.

Pyrotecnico’s crews are already booked for July 3rd, 4th, and 5th in 2015.

Our committee exhausted other options for fireworks on the 4th and feel that Pyrotecnico is our best option. Mr. Pruett understands the area and he is aware of the situation from 2009. 

Mr. Pruett suggested we look at Wednesday, July 1st for our fireworks show. Our committee voted on February 9th to proceed with that date in mind, and request funding from Occupancy Tax.

Though it’s not the 4th, there are some possible benefits to having our celebration on the 1st: 

  • It’s the middle of the week, peak daytripper day. Daytrippers will likely stay through the evening to see the fireworks.
  • If visitors are coming for the week, they will already be here.
  • It could help extend visitors’ plans from the weekend back to the 1st or before.
  • Our fireworks would happen first in the area, and kick-off the holiday.
  • The 4th is a Saturday this year, so the 1st helps us avoid scheduling with change-over days.
  • In past years, many people have left Ocracoke on the evening of the 4th to see fireworks elsewhere. We feel that if they’ve already seen a great show a few days earlier, they may choose to stay on the island on the 4th.
  • It spreads the holiday out and doesn’t concentrate it on one day.
  • Mr. Pruett can send us his best crew so we’ll have the safest show we can get.
  • Mr. Pruett will accommodate us on the 4th next year.

Ocracoke residents and visitors have said they’d like to see fireworks return to the island. We believe that having fireworks again will re-build our tourist base for the holiday. This appears to be the best way for us to get this accomplished this year.


$17,000–$18,000 for fireworks show (18-21 minutes) and all permits

$12,000– $13,000 for the barge

$500 (approximately) to provide lodging for the fireworks crew

$6000 contingency funds to reschedule the fireworks due to weather 

TOTAL request: $37,500


Sundae Horn, Connie Leinbach, Darlene Styron, Amy Srail Johnson, Justin LeBlanc


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