SF New Year's Eve fireworks, big parties are back, despite rainy weather

Crews from Pyro Spectacular by Souza, producing San Francisco's New Year's Eve fireworks show, worked through wind and rain Friday, to load the enormous amount of fireworks shells onto the barge off the pier, putting plastic covers on them to keep them dry.

"If it's foggy we fire, if it's rainy we fire, if it's cloudy we fire," Pat Dyas, the longtime show producer said. "If mother nature is friendly, then you get to see all the flowers."

The San Francisco fireworks show was canceled a few days before New Year's Eve in 2021, due to surging Covid-19 cases from the Omicron variant. In 2020, fireworks were paused as well due to Covid-19 cases. The last time San Francisco held its annual midnight fireworks show was in 2019.

"It's a great joy and a great honor to get to bring this New Year's' display back to San Francisco. The pandemic has been terrible, it's saddened people," Dyas said. "Our job, we are the purveyors of joy. We get to bring joy out. When fireworks happen, people smile."

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Fog and clouds permitting, the midnight magic will be visible from Waterbar along the Embarcadero. On Friday, the restaurant was prepping its New Year's Eve party favors, champagne flutes. music, and a six-course menu. The rain won't impact the festivities, which are entirely indoors.

"It's kind of expected to rain around this time of the year, so we just maneuver as if it's going to rain, and if it doesn't — great," Jaysen Fort, dining room manager at Waterbar, said. 

The ballroom at the Mark Hopkins Hotel didn't have any New Year's Eve parties last year due to surging Covid-19 cases. Now, the dance floors, tables, and chairs are already set to host 800 guests for a Great Gatsby-themed bash.

"We were worried about the weather, definitely, but as of right now it seems everyone is ready to come and just have a good time," Phil Amidon, director of food and beverage at the Mark Hopkins Hotel, said.

Upstairs, 100 guests will enjoy a seven-course dinner, champagne, and live jazz music at the Top of the Mark. They'll also have a chance to potentially view the fireworks.

This year's show will debut new, state-of-the-art fireworks, timed to the beat of the music, down to the millisecond. 

"Some of these shells that are in this

 show are some of the finest shells that you'll see in the world," Dyas said. "And we're bringing them to San Francisco."