Source: Valley Roadrunner

Fireworks show hopes to avoid hefty waiver fee

February 27, 2014

By moving the July Fourth fireworks display back to Valley Center High School this year, the show should avoid incurring a hefty new filing fee of $1,940 for a conditional waiver.

The waiver, which applies to fireworks shows in U.S. waterways, would have applied if the show was hosted at the Community Center as in previous years. Kelly Crews, organizer of the fireworks display, believes the waiver won’t be necessary this year.

“There is no U.S. waterway near the high school,” said Crews. “We believe we’re outside of it, out of the entire process, and I’ve asked for them to get back to me if I’m wrong.”

In past years, Crews has had to fill out hundreds of pages of documentation and submit soil samples to receive a conditional waiver from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board. However, the board is now requiring both the filing fee and an extensive process of registering a permanent development for shows in waterways, even if it just for one night.

“I knew something was going to change, though. I just started getting that feeling last year when I was working with those folks, so we’ve been proactive in that area, and that’s one of the reasons that I started having talks with the high school,” said Crews.

The fireworks show was first held at VCHS in the early 2000s before the synthetic turf at the football field was installed. This year the show will likely be held at the baseball fields, a site Fire Marshal George Lucia has already approved, according to Crews.

Other major obstacles that still lay ahead for Crews are acquiring sponsors and working out parking and traffic issues with the California Highway Patrol. She hopes to get a final answer on the need for a conditional waiver in the coming week.

To learn more or become a sponsor for the Fourth of July fireworks show, contact