South County residents won’t have to travel to see the biggest fireworks show in Florida this New Year’s Eve.
It didn’t start out to be the biggest, or the best. Vic Granowicz just wanted to do something special to usher in the new year.
Then sponsors heard about his plan and started signing on and that put it over the top.
Now Granowicz is expecting to host the largest show in the state, according to Pytrotechnico fireworks company, which also hosts the fireworks for events held by the Yankees, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and many other significant happenings on a national scale.
Fort Myers will be having a $25,000 show. But thanks to South County sponsors, the Apollo Beach show has accumulated $27,500 worth of fireworks and promises to be the biggest show in the state. And they will host a celebratory party, to boot.
Granowicz didn’t start out to run shows or book entertainment.
He moved to the area from Iowa in 1988 and attended the University of Florida and later became certified as an architect.
“My first [building] project was Lands End Marina,” he said, sitting behind his desk in the main office there Dec. 12. After that, he designed Circles restaurant next door. Granowicz co-owns the marina with his sister Christie, but ever since she stopped working to have a baby, he runs pretty much everything. He is also in partnership at Circles, where his partners are executive chef Chris Bodensky and general manager Michael Takacs.
Every New Year’s Eve, Granowicz holds something special for his guests at the waterfront restaurant. But this year’s event took on a life of its own.
He decided to put $5,000 into a fireworks display, but he had no idea what that would buy. So he called in the experts: Pyrotecnico. When they told him the largest display this year was in Fort Myers, he asked what they meant by “largest.”
That’s when they told him about Fort Myers’ $25,000 price tag.
To give him an idea he could picture, he was told that Clearwater’s July Fourth celebration has about $44,000 in fireworks; Tampa’s July Fourth show usually runs around $18,500; and Channelside shows off about $10,000 worth on the Fourth.
That gave him an idea.
Five thousand wasn’t enough.
So sponsors started coming on board.
“TECO matched us with another $5,000,” he said. Then others started coming. The list is so long we can’t name them all here.
“With the help of the community, businesses are going to make this the best New Year’s Eve party ever,” he said.
“Events will start with live music at 3 p.m., then later the Luna Blue Band [which is local] will start playing and continue until 2 a.m.”
Fireworks will be launched from a barge floating behind Circles as midnight nears.
Reservations are needed for seating and there are several times open for dinner reservations as well.
For more information, call 813-641-3275.
Circles is located at 1212 Apollo Beach Blvd.