ASHLAND — Summer Motion President Chris Tatum said the decision to start the fireworks early on Friday night was simply a case of bad timing.
The 15-minute fireworks show, advertised to start at 10:15 p.m. on the Summer Motion website, actually concluded around 10 p.m.
Several surprised by the early start were venting their frustrations on social media outlets.
Tatum apologized for those who missed watching the fireworks display because of the last-minute time switch.
“It was timing as much as anything,” he said. “Our permit with the (Coast Guard) Maritime was to have the fireworks between 9:45 and 10:15.”
Originally, he said, the plan was to have closing act Lou Gramm and the Juke Box Hero Tour on for 30 minutes, then launch the fireworks, and have Gramm return.
However, Exile’s opening set went longer than expected, forcing the committee to make a quick decision on what to do.
“Lou didn’t want to go on for 15 minutes and then quit for a 15-minute fireworks show,” Tatum said. “For the sake of the (Gramm) show, we decided to start the fireworks earlier (than advertised). Because we do deal with entertainers, things don’t always go as planned.”
Tatum said it was the fault of any one person but simply “bad timing.”
Exile played until about 9:20 p.m. and then there had to be a set switch for Gramm’s band. That left no wiggle room to start the show and get the fireworks off in the permitted time slot.
“We made the best decision we could,” Tatum said. “People were into that show. Exile didn’t want to go off the stage and I don’t blame them. That’s what they do.”
The first-year president said it has been two great nights of entertainment under ideal weather conditions.
“There were a lot of people on the riverbank tonight enjoying the fireworks and the shows,” he said. “We want everybody to come out tomorrow (Saturday) and enjoy another great day of activities and concerts.”
Summer Motion concludes its three-day run with a big day, starting at 11 a.m. at the Port of Ashland.
Regional talent will be performing most of the day and a wrestling show at 2 p.m. has some big names like Mick Foley and Jim Cornette that are sure to attract a crowd.
David Lee Murphy goes on stage at 8 p.m. and Molly Hatchett finishes it off at 9:30 p.m.