Schenectady County

High water postpones annual Jumpin’ Jack’s fireworks

Summer fireworks at Freedom Park in Scotia will now be held Friday, July 12.

Summer fireworks at Freedom Park in Scotia will now be held Friday, July 12.

The pre-holiday pyrotechnic show scheduled for Friday night was canceled, as principals at sponsoring Jumpin’ Jack’s Drive-In worried about high water in the Mohawk River.

Steady rain that caused flood conditions in the Mohawk Valley and raised water levels in the river forced the cancellation.

“The river’s moving too fast,” Mark Lansing Jr., Jumpin’ Jack’s general manager, said early Friday afternoon. “It’s not safe for the water skiers, not safe for the crews transporting the fireworks to the island. There’s no reason to put anyone in harm’s way.”

Lansing made the decision to postpone the show at 1 p.m. Crews from Empire Fireworks in Delanson, contracted to light up the skies above Freedom Park, never brought their gear to the site.

“It was a tough decision to get to, mostly because we were trying to get correct information to make an educated decision,” Lansing said.

At around 1 p.m., the Mohawk’s flood gauge was at 215 feet. The river normally crests at 216 feet, Lansing said, “and 217 puts it on the island, 218 is just into our parking lot,” he said. “It’s too close to mess with.”

The cancellation was expected to cost Jumpin’ Jack’s revenue. The show is traditionally one of the region’s first fireworks parties.

“We like to do a fireworks shows early, first, for the bigger draw,” Lansing said. “Now, being on the other end of the fireworks season, we’ll probably take a hit.”

On the brighter side, Lansing added, restaurant personnel expected a busy Friday night with hamburger, ice cream and milkshake fans.

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