December 3, 2016

THERE WILL BE FIRE . . . on the water

Fire and water to light up the city tonight at Old Town’s new plaza

Tonight at Old Town, the city opens the first fire/water fountain [ever in the United States] to usher in the holidays. The evening will include a performance of the American Legion Symphonic Band.

Pompano Beach will ignite the first “Fountain Flame” in the United States Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. in the Old Town section of the city, across from Bailey Contemporary Arts, 41 NE 1 St., as part of Old Town Untpped’s Holiday event. The dramatic display is set ablaze when propane is injected into the water, igniting into flames that dance atop the sprouting flumes of water. Kim Briesemeister and Chris Brown, founders of Redevelopment Management Associates, wanted to create a great public space ensuring a central gathering spot for reviving downtown.

“Pompano Beach is quickly emerging as a national redevelopment model,” said Briesemeister. “The reinvention of the city is focused on securing the best of the STEAM disciplines, with a strong emphasis on blending art and technology. This “Fountain Flame,” located between three new arts venues, is an outstanding example of small towns setting the trends.”

The “Fountain Flame” technology was developed by OASE-Living Water, based in Germany. The Pompano Beach fountain will be the first that utilizes a low voltage igniter to combine fire and water in a theatrical application in a public place. The fountain works by introducing high pressure propane gas into the stream of water. Once the propane is inside the stream, the igniter lights the propane stream in the water jet to start the fire show. The fountain also hasnumerous LED light displays, which enhances the visual effect.

“Our vision wasn’t deterred when we were informed that it couldn’t be built in the US,” said Briesemeister. “Our team worked with national and local fi re safety experts to create guidelines and obtain UL certification for this new technology.” As a safety precaution, the fountain is surrounded by infrared beams, if the plane is broken, the gas valve is shut off and the water and propane flow stops.

Burkhardt Construction led the streetscape improvements within Old Town; EDSA, a landscape architecture firm, led the overall design, hardscape layout and concept for the fountain. EDSA also led the multidisciplinary team of consultants for the project, including Hall Fountains, Delta G, Keith and Associates, and Mausen. The lighting of the “Fountain Flame” will be part of the monthly OldTown Untapped event. The evening includes a holiday performance by the 65 piece American Legion Symphonic Band, sponsored by Brightstar Credit Union and the Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce. Over 50 holiday vendors, food trucks, art displays, craft beer tastings, specialty drink, a scavenger hunt and much more.

-Anne Siren

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