EVERETT – Saturday night’s Salty Sea Days fireworks are back on.
The Dwayne Lane group of auto dealerships agreed Wednesday to sponsor the show, as it has since 1999. The move came after several upset area residents called the company after reading a story in Wednesday’s Herald that the fireworks were not going to take place.
“We didn’t want the community to be disappointed because of a lack of communication on the organizers’ part,” said Sheila Countryman-Bean, marketing director for Dwayne Lane.
Countryman-Bean was referring to the Everett Salty Sea Days Association, which in the past has overseen the fireworks show. Countryman-Bean said no one from the association approached Lane this year to ask the company to sponsor the show. The group no longer has a telephone number, and an e-mail sent to the group came back undeliverable, she said.
“We feel we were caught in the middle,” Countryman-Bean said. “The fireworks show is a tradition, and we’d like it to continue.”
Salty Sea Days transition director Marion Pope did not return phone calls for comment.
Countryman-Bean said that “with the cloud of confusion that is hanging over the festival,” Dwayne Lane will not consider sponsoring future Salty Sea Days fireworks shows until the association is on firmer footing.
The group has been in tumult since a controversy over city funding of the festival erupted last summer. The festival begins at 4:30 p.m. today with a four-day carnival on the Everett waterfront.
Dwayne Lane is spending $5,000 on the fireworks. As it did last year, the Port Gardner Fireworks Co. is putting together the show, which should last up to 15 minutes, company President John Fisher said. The show begins at 10 p.m. over Port Gardner Bay.
Reporter David Olson: 425-339-3452 or firstname.lastname@example.org.