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Delray Beach lights up the sky to celebrate the Fourth

fireworks at delray beach

Thousands crowded Delray's municipal beach to view the city's annual fireworks display.


By Palm Beach

DELRAY BEACH — The fireworks display that almost didn’t happen came off in spectacular fashion Monday as Delray Beach celebrated Independence Day.

The annual display of pyrotechnics off Delray’s municipal beach came perilously close to being cancelled because of higher than anticipated cost of renting an ocean barge.

However the Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, generous Delray Beach residents and a renegotiated contract with barge company MCulley Marine helped close the gap and enabled the display to go on as originally plan.

The only hitch in the show came as rough seas and high winds pushed the barage closer to shore than planned, and ash rained down on some spectators. No serious injuries were reported, however.

The fireworks show was just the culmination of a full schedule of event that began with a sand sculpture contest Monday morning. During the day, Mary Gaines Bernard, sister of Donna Summer, sang the national anthem.

Boca Raton resident Matthew Kulase won a hot dog eating contest sponsored by Pazzo Italiano by downing 11 dogs and buns in a span of 20 minutes. His prize for his effort: A year’s worth of free food at Pazzo Italiano.

Robert Massimo of Boynton Beach won the hamburger-eating contest as the first to devour three pounds of ground beef patty. Massimo said he could have eaten a fourth.

“It was easy,” Massimo said. “I’ve eaten a pound of pasta in a minute.”

Young and old were drawn to Delray's Independence Day celebration.

Boynton Beach resident Robert Massimo celebrates his victory in the hamburger-eating contest. His prize: free food for a year at Pazzo Italiano in Delray's Pineapple Grove arts district. The restaurant sponsored the contest.

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JULY 5, 2011 click to go home
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