Redesigned fireworks show will begin on river at 6:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve

Published 12:03 pm Thursday, December 28, 2023

NATCHEZ — A brand-new, completely redesigned fireworks show is in store for Miss-Lou residents beginning at 6:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

Sabrina Dore, who has taken over leadership for the area’s July 4 and New Year’s fireworks displays, said the show is being designed and engineered once again by Curtis Elkins of Pyromania of Bossier City, Louisiana.

“I sought Curtis out in 2018 and signed with him and he is now providing all of the pyrotechnics for our area, including the Balloon Festival. He is absolutely fantastic. We work closely to design something new for each show just so it doesn’t get stale,” Dore said.

Email newsletter signup

“The fireworks are happening on New Year’s Eve. Even though it is a Sunday night, we feel we are having them early enough in the evening that children will be back at home safely before any of the more adult New Year’s celebrating begins,” she said. “We also know our law enforcement officers are on high patrol on New Year’s Eve, so we chose 6:30 p.m. — and they will begin at 6:30 p.m. sharp — in order for local police officers to be able to do their jobs that night, rather than spend all of their time directing fireworks traffic.”

Dore said weather should be “fantastic” this year for the fireworks show.

“I have been checking the weather like a hawk, and it should be a great night for fireworks,” she said. “However, if it is raining at 6:30 p.m., we would postpone the show for a bit. If the rain continues, we will just cancel the show. But that’s not what we expect to happen according to forecasts now.”

Putting on each fireworks show is an expensive endeavor, and the New Year’s show is completely paid by private sponsorships.

“The fireworks display is $15,000. It’s about $1,000 a minute for a 12 to 15 minute show. There is the additional charge for Coast Guard permitting and hiring the barge service. The total cost this year is $16,600, and the cost is 100 percent covered by sponsorships,” Dore said.

The barge from which the fireworks are set off is contracted directly through Terral River Services of Vidalia.

“The pyrotechnics are fired directly from a barge located on the river directly between Natchez and Vidalia,” she said.

“Despite reports that the Miss-Lou area enjoyed record Christmas sales, our sponsorships were down substantially this year. We had a difficult time raising the money, but we made the cut. As a matter of fact, we have the exact dollar amount we needed, plus $20. That’s scary for me. The contract is signed in my personal name, so I’m responsible for payment personally if we don’t get sponsorships, so we work really, really hard to get them.”

Typically, the goal is to collect enough in sponsorships to at least get a head start on funding the next show.

She said many might not realize the draw of the Miss-Lou fireworks displays.

“In fact, this year I had a couple out of South Carolina who are staying in a hotel in Natchez and the called wanting to make sure we were having the fireworks show on the river. It’s a huge draw. It actually attracts visitors to our community, and when people come here, that’s tax dollars for us,” Dore said.

She asked that anyone who happens to take photos of the fireworks show this New Year’s Eve to submit them to the website.

“Please send any photos you take of the fireworks or of your children enjoying the fireworks. We will feature them on our website,” she said.