Speaking of fireworks

Not to jinx any communities who have not yet set off their holiday display, but this year marked the 25th anniversary of the big Fourth of July fireworks explosion in Duluth.

It was July 4, 1988, when an estimated 1,500 to 1,800 shells ignited all at once, on the ground, sending sparks streaming from the launch site across a 75-foot boat slip and into the crowd at Bayfront Festival Park. Fortunately — perhaps incredibly — no one was seriously hurt.

The mishap occurred just after the start of what was to have been a half-hour show.

“It was probably the most memorable fireworks show in Duluth history and it lasted only a few minutes,” Dan Russell, executive director of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, told the News Tribune’s Chuck Frederick for a 20th anniversary column in 2008. Duluth’s fireworks now are launched from an area much farther away from the crowd.

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