Thousands enjoy Kaboom fireworks show

May 10, 2009 1:45:58 PM PDT
The streets along San Francisco's Embarcadero were jammed Saturday night with fans of radio station KFOG celebrating the station's annual concert and fireworks show on Piers 30 and 32.

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KFOG sets music to their fireworks shows. This year the theme was "Let Loose." They wanted to let lighten the mood. One of the songs they chose was Prince's "Let's go crazy."

There were some signs of the times, but overall it was a fun night. Sixteen years of live performances and a beautiful fireworks display have built up a loyal following for KFOG's Kaboom.

"We have people flying in from other parts of the country to take advantage of it," said KFOG morning show host Webster.

Many of those people remember the good old days, like seeing Los Lonely Boys back in 2006, when they did not have to pay $20 to get in.

"Three years ago it was free," said Renee Lama from Richmond. "But it's worth it, paying a little bit to get in," a friend added.

Not everyone feels that way. The Starr family from Livermore actually decided not to go in this year.

"It was not in the family budget this year. It would have been $100," said Alison Starr.

They did not want to miss the event, a 16-year-old family tradition. So, they made the best of it and found a spot along the Embarcadero.

"So, maybe in the future, when it's just us two, we'll go back on the pier," said Starr.

Organizers say ticket sales were down a bit this year and those who did pay to get in appeared to be spending less inside, even at the beer tent.

"This year seems a little bit slower than years in the past," said booth manager Maureen Macleod.

Los Lonely Boys still had tens of thousands of happy fans watching their show this year. People taking a break from the music were delighted with the variety of food available on a stick, including cheesecake.

"Yeah it's the only reason I came, the fried food and the cheesecake on a stick," Macleod told ABC 7.

The real crowd pleaser was the fireworks show. The 15-minute long show costs KFOG $150,000. That is part of the reason the station had to start charging people. But, loyal fans say there is not a better fireworks show around.

Officials were still tabulating ticket sales at the box office Saturday night and the total event attendance was unknown. They did however say they had a lot of walk-up sales and that it seemed like people were making last-minute decisions instead of planning out their weekends in advance.

Usually they pack in about 30,000 people, but they estimate that hundreds of thousands of people watched the fireworks show from along the Embarcadero or from their homes.

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