Laser show lacks fans

Leader news staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 7/10/19

So far, the nays have it.

With apologies for the unscientific nature of The Leader’s social media poll and with proper allowance for the tendency of the aggrieved to be more vocal than the knights who say “...meh…” it looks like lasers have not won the hearts of Jefferson County.

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Laser show lacks fans

Posted

So far, the nays have it.

With apologies for the unscientific nature of The Leader’s social media poll and with proper allowance for the tendency of the aggrieved to be more vocal than the knights who say “...meh…” it looks like lasers have not won the hearts of Jefferson County.

At press time, voters who promised they had actually seen the show voted 217-89 against permanently replacing fireworks with lasers at the conclusion of Independence Day festivities at Fort Worden. The poll also gave voters room to explain their votes and a cross-section of those comments is reproduced on page 9 of today’s paper.

The day’s events were organized without the explosive noise of pyrotechnics by Thunderbull Productions. Thunderbull boss Danny Milholland said he views the show as a success, based on responses he has received. Indeed, even commenters who announced their preference for the thunder of mortars and sky rockets praised Milholland for trying something new.

“I think there is room for improvement,” Milholland said. “There were some technical difficulties, some hiccups that I didn’t expect. But overall it was awesome.”

It’s yet to be decided if the laser show will return next year, but Milholland has ideas on what it might look like.

With the first attempt under his belt, he said a shorter, action-packed laser show for families should be followed by a dance party that includes lasers, as many attendees wanted more upbeat dance tunes during the show.

This could also “diffuse the exodus,” Milholland said, referencing the backed-up traffic exiting the fort after each Fourth of July celebration.

This year’s Old School Fourth of July saw its biggest crowds in its five years, Milholland said. He believes the new laser show played a major role in this.

“The debate over lasers versus fireworks sparked a lot of curiosity,” he said.

Although the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce was not involved in producing the laser show, Arlene Alen, executive director of the chamber, reported receiving positive feedback on the laser show.

“People were really excited,” Alen said. “For those who were concerned about animals in the community, they weren’t as nervous, and were a lot more relaxed.”

Commenting on The Leader’s social media page, Chas Allen confessed to being initially skeptical of replacing the more familiar fireworks with a laser show “on such a traditional holiday,” but nonetheless sought to retain an open mind.

“Did I miss the fireworks?” Allen said. “As a person who loves tradition, of course!”

Nonetheless, Allen found value in the laser show through its absence of air, water and noise pollution, as well as the lack of fireworks’ adverse impact on animals.

“It was a blast, and was well-received and appreciated by the grand majority of those in attendance,” Allen said.

Debra Diner, another online commenter, disagreed, declaring the laser show “a letdown, after hours spent waiting in the cold,” and “not a good substitute for fireworks at all.”

Chief among Diner’s complaints were that the lasers “only showed up a little bit” on the trees.

“I had wondered how they were going to make it dramatic, without smoke or fog to reflect off of,” Diner said. “I was right. No drama at all.”

Christine Giese regarded the production as middling.

“It was cool,” she wrote in a social media comment. “but I wish the music was better, with more variety in the laser show. It got stale, and it didn’t seem to be going to the music.”

Caryn Cotton and her husband saw the laser show with her 8-year-old daughter.

“She thought it was the best thing ever!” Cotton wrote. “We both liked it better than fireworks!”

“It was nice to have something for everyone to enjoy,” Leah Niemiec said, “but in my opinion, the fireworks are what really make the show every year for us! It just wasn’t the same.”

Comments

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Dawn mohrbacher

As someone who has invested in the traditional fireworks in a BIG way I will say that the people complaining, probably didn't cough up a buck to see them. At minimum it costs about ten grand for your booms and awes. if you want them, pony up.

My kids went to the beach (not at the fort because we know centrum does not support our community any longer) but they were thoroughly happy with the display. It was well done and will be remembered In a very positive way.

Btw seven minus four is...a stupid way to check for humans leader

Wednesday, July 10
Bill Wise

Agree with Dawn's comment - pony up on the donations.

As for the laser show... after five minutes it became repetitive - something went wrong during the "Encounters of the Third Kind" sequence, really dissapointed - not sure this is worth repeating

If we want to have a rave/dancing, fine, but not this venue, not the Fourth.

Seems to me with all the social media stuff "crowd funding", "gofundme", etc, we should be able to raise $10,000 to $20,000 for some fireworks. And maybe the City could pony up as well.

Thursday, July 11