By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
An impromptu – but legal – fireworks show at Bend’s Old Mill District Monday night surprised the community and drew some very mixed reactions.
Some people enjoyed the show, while other’s commented on the Central Oregon Daily News Facebook page and weren’t so happy.
McKayla said, “2 minutes warning is not enough time for people to secure scared animals and for war veterans to prepare themselves.”
Cameron commented, “Although I can see the side of this that brings joy, it scared the crap out of my kids and pups. I was working from home when they started and it sounded like a war zone.”
Some wished they could’ve seen the show.
“I wish I would have known.” said Beckie, a Bend resident. “It would have been exciting to come out and see or to look out the window. We didn’t hear them, but I saw a lot of people post on social media and had some friends text me that they had no idea and the booms were frightening.”
Young Tanner and his family needed a closer look.
“We went in the car and drove to go see them,” he said.
It’s unclear exactly who sponsored the event or why they were set off, but The Old Mill District posted on its Facebook page as they were happening that a private donor sponsored it hoping “to bring a bit of happiness and cheer to the community.”
The post said they did not give an advanced warning of the event because they did not want to attract a large crowd.
Public permits for the fireworks indicate the sponsor was Watson Companies – a parent company to Hayden Homes in Redmond.
Our calls to Hayden Homes were not returned.
Deschutes County 911 Director Sara Crosswhite said dispatch took more than 200 calls in a one-hour period during and after the fireworks.
She said they were given a 10-minute heads up about the event so they knew to expect some calls.
Bend Fire and Rescue Deputy Fire Chief Larry Medina said there is no local or state requirement to notify the public of a fireworks show like the one on Monday.
“We’re looking at our process and even though there is no requirement, that we make sure somebody is responsible that somebody dissemenate that information and make sure at least the people surrounding the area know what is going on,” Medina said.