San Diego Hosts The Best And Worst Fireworks Show Ever

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if all the fireworks went off at once, they found out last night in San Diego:

One of the largest Fourth of July fireworks shows in the nation was ruined in San Diego Wednesday after a glitch caused all the pyrotechnics to ignite all at once.

About five minutes before the Port of San Diego’s Big Bay Boom was to begin at 9 p.m., spectators saw a brilliant display of fireworks that shot up in only 15 seconds – an incredible disappointment to hundreds of thousands of spectators who had waited for hours for the 18-minute show (see video below).

The Big Bay Boom is advertised as one of the largest fireworks shows in the nation, and boasts about attracting half a million spectators. The pyrotechnics are launched from five barges in the San Diego Bay, and this year’s show – the 12th annual spectacle – was advertised by the port as being “bigger and more intense than in past years,” and organizers set up free buses and shuttles to handle the crowds of spectators. About a dozen bayside hotels offer special Fourth of July rates just so customers can watch the show from the comfort of their rooms.

The explosion was so bright and loud that some viewers initially thought the barges containing the fireworks had caught on fire. “Oh my God. Look at that. Is that supposed to happen?” said one person, whose comments were captured on a YouTube video. “I think a yacht blew up,”@BENBALLER tweeted, along with a photo that appeared to show a breathtaking number of fireworks simultaneously exploding.

Here’s video of the event (don’t blink, though):

Kinda cool, no?

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Scott O says:

    There was an interview with the owner of a fireworks display company on NPR a few years ago. He told about a show he had set up in some small town somewhere and the same thing happened. Everything went off at once. He was seated next to the mayor of the town at the time. The mayor turned to him and said “Wow, this is going to be a great show”.

  2. Franklin says:

    More fireworks were made legal in Michigan this year. Of course there was a debate about how much is too much for amateurs. Because, you see, the pros are so much more competent …

  3. @Franklin:

    Because, you see, the pros are so much more competent …

    Yes, they managed to have a massive problem and yet not a single person was hurt no any property damaged.

  4. Ian says:

    “I’m sorry baby, this has never happened to me before. It’s just that it’s been a while.”

  5. Stephney says:

    These fireworks are amazing.