Post-midnight All-Star fireworks irritate some Minneapolis residents

  • Article by: SUSAN HOGAN and PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 15, 2014 - 2:17 PM

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A late-night fireworks display at Monday night’s All-Star Gala near the Mill City Museum in downtown Minneapolis was not a hit with many Minneapolis residents.

The bright and booming fireworks over the Stone Arch Bridge were launched about 12:20 a.m. Tuesday and lasted nearly 15 minutes.

People jolted from their sleep took to social media, their telephones and e-mails to register complaints.

Early Tuesday afternoon, Major League Baseball apologized. In a statement it said the gala was to “conduct a light fireworks display at midnight, [but] the show that the fireworks vendor executed was louder and longer than what we were expecting."

The invitation-only gala was scheduled to start after the Home Run Derby at nearby Target Field, which organizers projected would be about 10 p.m. But rain delayed the Derby by an hour, leading to the start of the fireworks being pushed past midnight.

During a neighborhood meeting a month ago, attendees were told by the gala’s organizer that the fireworks would begin at 11:45 p.m. and last for 10 minutes.

Twin spokesman Kevin Smith, whose team is the official host for All-Star Game festivities, said he understands that the fireworks were scheduled for midnight but were pushed back 20 minutes in “a weather-induced decision that we were forced into.”

Smith added that “I’m sure people were upset” by the late hour of the noisy celebration, “and we are sensitive to that.” At the same time, he added, “this is a once-in-a-lifetime event.”

The gala was staged by Chad Hudson Events, a special events coordinating company with offices in Los Angeles and New York. A message was left Tuesday morning with events representative Jeff Consoletti, who is in Minneapolis, seeking details about the fireworks and the late hour of them being set off.

Minneapolis police said that its All-Star Game command center received no complaints but that it’s dispatch center did field some calls.

The staging site was on Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board property. A board official was looking into the matter Tuesday.

Ken Searl, an officer with the Mill City Neighborhood Association, found it amusing that people who live in a major city would complain about a few minutes of noise on a summer’s night.

“We live in a city, and things happen,” said Searl, who was at the meeting where the gala’s organizer gave its briefing. “And they were nice enough to tell us about it. I don’t think there was any big objection to it at all [during the meeting].”

Searl, who lives downtown, said he was asleep when the first booms sounded and admitted Tuesday morning that “it was kind of a shock” at first. But, Searl added, he quickly went out to his balcony and took in the show.

“I moved downtown from a very quiet area in Wayzata,” he said. “It’s kind of invigorating to have things like this. It’s fun.”

Another neighborhood association officer, however, said “it was upsetting” that the fireworks were so late and louder than advertised. Dave Tinjum added that the gala organizer misrepresented the visual and audio scope of the event, portraying it as a more muted riverside pyrotechnic show.

“I did get a couple of e-mails [overnight] from concerned citizens,” said Tinjum, who said one resident close to the bridge said her walls shook.

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