Many Turned Away From Navy Pier Fireworks

More than 100,000 people turn out for annual show

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An estimated 100,000 people packed the Pier for the annual show, but several were turned away after it became too crowded, including some people who had purchased tickets to watch the fireworks on the cruise boats. Charlie Wojciechowski reports. (Published Friday, Jul 5, 2013)

    Thursday night's Fourth of July fireworks display at Navy Pier created less than a big bang for some disappointed families.

    An estimated 100,000 people packed the Pier for the annual show, but several were turned away after it became too crowded, including some people who had purchased tickets to watch the fireworks on the cruise boats.

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    "They said we had to turn back around because it was too packed and it was closing," Yoira Cordero told NBC 5.

    Tom and Becky Paintin were visiting from Iowa City to celebrate their honeymoon, but were disappointed they couldn't get in.

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    "We tried, but there was too many people. We got here around seven o'clock, but the police were telling us it was completely closed down."

    Police say the situation was temporary, and that the gates were reopened before the fireworks started.

    But some people resorted to parking on the side of Lake Shore Drive with their hazard lights on to watch the show. 

    A Navy Pier spokesman told NBC 5 that the decision to turn people away was made by the police department for safety reasons.


    Navy Pier has become the only Fourth of July fireworks option for city dwellers.

    In 2010, Mayor Daley canceled the Independence Day fireworks in order to say money, and opted instead to host three synchronized shows at three separate sites along Lake Michigan, Montrose Harbor, 59th Street and Navy Pier, however that plan was scrapped after only a year.

    The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority pays for the Navy Pier fireworks.

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said the city doesn't have the resources to host its own show.

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