Big Bang on the Bay event seeks permit to use Seal Beach park

The aim is to use park as fundraiser for Seal Beach charities

John Morris at Boathouse on the Bay in Long Beach. Photo by Charles M. Kelly

Every July 3, the Boathouse on the Bay (in Long Beach) presents the Big Bang on the Bay fireworks show. According to the Boathouse website, all proceeds go to charity.

This year, however, Boathouse owner John Morris is aiming to do something different.

This year, Morris has applied to reserve space in the First Street park adjacent to Ocean Place so Seal Beach charities can raise money on this side of the San Gabriel River.

During an in-person interview at the Boathouse, Morris said on Friday, May 26, that he had an appointment with the city on Tuesday, May 30, to discuss the application.

(The Sun has filed a Public Records Act request with the city of Seal Beach for the permits for the July 3 Band on the Sand, Big Bang on the Bay, and for the June 10 Pride Festival.)

“I’m doing this because Seal Beach is very supportive of Boathouse on the Bay,” Morris said.

Morris said he would pull the permit and provide the tables for the charities. “They get 100% of the money on these tables,” Morris said.

He said this was a great opportunity for local charities.

Morris argued that without something in the park, some sort of organization, it would be a free-for-all.  Morris said he believes that having charities take over portions of the park will help control the crowd.

“I’m bringing a controlled group of people in the area,” Morris said.

The charities Morris expects to benefit from the Seal Beach venue for Big Bang on the Bay include Project S.E.E.K, and the Autism Partnership, which is located in Seal Beach. (The Autism Partnership has strong support in Seal Beach. Every April, Seal Beach Police officers are authorized, but not required, to wear an autism awareness patch.)

Morris said all he was doing was moving the charities from Boathouse on the Bay to Seal Beach.

Morris said the Big Bang has given out more than $1 million to children’s groups in Long Beach.

According to Morris, other charities that have benefited from the annual Big Bang fireworks show have included Ronald McDonald House, Children Today, Precious Life, the Boys & Girls Clubs, the Los Alamitos YMCA, and Belmont Shore Rugby Club. The website for Big Bang on the Bay also lists Send a Kid to Camp Fund, The Guidance Center, Los Alamitos High, and Rancho Los Alamitos, among others.

According to Morris, Big Bang on the Bay has a lot of support in the area. He said the yacht clubs write checks. He said all local businesses around the Boathouse write checks. He cited as an example Capt. Jack’s.

“But none in Seal Beach participate,” he said.