Mitt Romney planned Boston Harbor fireworks show that was scotched by election loss

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney concedes the 2012 general election in a speech to supporters at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney concedes the 2012 general election in a speech to supporters at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. –JohnTlumacki/Globe Staff

Mitt Romney had planned to celebrate his election as the nation’s 45th president with an eight-minute fireworks display over Boston Harbor.

The same company that does some of the illuminations for Boston’s Fourth of July celebration was poised to ignite fireworks within view of Romney’s party at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center to celebrate a win over President Obama.

A permit filed with the City of Boston said the detonation could occur any time between 7 p.m. Tuesday, just after the first polls closed, and 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, which ended up being just before Romney conceded the race.


Instead, Atlas Professional Fireworks Displays unloaded the pyrotechnics from mortars set up on a barge near the Bank of America Pavilion and carted them back to its headquarters in Jaffrey, N.H.

“It was not an intense, grand finale-type of display for eight minutes, but it certainly was a fast-paced show to cap off the evening, if it were necessary,’’ company CEO Steve Pelkey told the Globe today.

Atlas does over 75 percent of the fireworks shows in New England, and was the 2012 world champion at the Montreal International Fireworks Competition. The Romney show had a patriotic theme, heavy on red, white, and blue colors, and featured crowd-pleasing large chrysanthemum bursts.

Such a display usually costs around $25,000, half for the fireworks and half for the permitting, barge, and other costs.

With the possibility of the show being cancelled, it also is set up in a manner to safely remove any unused fireworks. For example, Pelkey said strings are attached to the tops of some fireworks so they can be pulled rather than tilted out of mortar tubes.

The show was part of an election evening by Romney, his staff, and his supporters that underscored their hope for victory.

Romney had tapped former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt to lead his transition planning, and screen shots of a transition website were captured Wednesday by Political Wire’s Taegan Goddard.


“Smaller, Simpler, Smarter,’’ was the motto, and a quote from “President-elect Romney’’ read: “I’m excited about our prospects as a nation. My priority is putting people back to work.’’

The site included an application for jobs in the administration, as well as a webpage to list Cabinet and other nominees.

Meanwhile, officials at Logan International Airport reported Tuesday that their private aviation tarmac was crammed with corporate jets that ferried in campaign supporters en route to the convention center.

The area’s hotels and restaurants also were filled with revelers.

And after a last-minute campaign dash to Ohio and Pennsylvania, Romney told reporters aboard his campaign plane that he had tapped out a victory speech on his iPad. He even enumerated its word count: 1,118.

Nonetheless, Romney acknowledged he may have to draft the concession speech he ultimately delivered.

“Nothing is certain in politics,’’ he said.

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