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Will Boom by the Bay go bust? Organizers say no way

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – When Mayor Jane Castor announced her plans for Boom by the Bay, a Fourth of July Fireworks spectacular, there was excitement in the air.

Castor announced that four fireworks displays will take place in Tampa spanning 2.5 miles of Tampa waterfront. 

The fireworks display will spread from Armature Works, to Riverfront Park, the Tampa Convention Center, and all the way over to Sparkman Wharf. 

But now there are some questions about the company that will put on the show.

The Tampa Downtown Partnership hired Angry Unicorn Importers out of Vero Beach to handle the fireworks.  

The man at the helm of that company is Elwood J. Wepplel IV.  Weppel used to be the principal at Creative Pyrotechnics.  That was the company that handled St. Petersburg’s Fourth of July Festivities last year and provided no show.  

The company also drew heat from two other Central Florida municipalities before declaring bankruptcy earlier this year.

Despite that, Rachel Radawec with the Tampa Downtown Partnership is confident the show will go off without a hitch.

“We’ve worked with him in the past for many great shows,” said Radawec. “We’ve worked out any fears that there may be out there. We’ve put precautions into place to make sure everything is in place days before the show on the fourth. “

Radawec does not believe Weppel’s prior issues will have any effect on Boom by the Bay.  

“Mayor Castor and the entire city is just so excited about this,” she said. “This is going to be the biggest show that Tampa has ever seen. We’ve got five barges in four different locations across two and a half miles of beautiful riverwalk. It’s going to be something like Tampa’s never seen before.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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