PORTLAND — After a 24-hour delay caused by lightning and torrential rain, Portland’s Stars and Stripes Spectacular went off almost without a hitch Thursday.

A pyrotechnician was injured when a shell misfired on the fireworks barge off East End Beach shortly before the grand finale, city spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said.

The worker was taken by the city’s fireboat to the Maine State Pier, where he was then transported to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

“Besides this one incident, everything worked out really well,” Clegg said. “It was great to have the turnout we had.”

The fireworks and a concert by the Portland Symphony Orchestra drew about 30,000 people to the Eastern Promenade, an increase from Wednesday night, when a thunderstorm arrived before the event could start, but fewer than the 50,000 originally predicted, Clegg said.

Before the fireworks display, the crowd was light as the orchestra kicked off the festivities around 7:40 p.m.

Lines of people waiting for sausages, doughboys, french fries and toys were smaller than usual for the Fourth of July. Moving from one end of the Prom to the other and finding a grassy place to sprawl out wasn’t difficult.

Around 8 p.m., a brief shower blew through, prompting some to seek shelter under the trees. But it didn’t bother Mark Webber, 35, and Kim Schutsky, 35, of Alfred, who made the trip to Portland for the second day in a row.

On Wednesday, the couple had gotten as far as Commercial Street when the deluge hit and they heard that the party had been postponed.

On Thursday, they had plenty of room around their chairs and their small blanket. “I was excited to see you could actually walk to where you wanted to go,” Schutsky said.

Webber was glad that the orchestra came back to play. “We were really looking forward to the music,” he said.

Sean Welker, 25, and Olga Oliva, 26, enjoyed the cool breeze off Casco Bay with their sons, Julio, 7, and Diego, 4. They live in Portland’s Deering neighborhood and are on vacation, so the one-night delay was no big deal to them.

“I kind of like having a little room and a place to sit,” Welker said as his sons played with Light Sabers while the symphony aptly played the “Star Wars” theme song.

But James Hayman, who lives on Munjoy Hill, said early on that he was conflicted about the lighter turnout.

“It’s a plus because you can find a place to sit,” he said, “but it’s a minus because you wanted to see a lot of people come because it is such a great event.”

By the time the symphony began playing the “1812 Overture” and the fireworks got started, Hayman apparently had gotten his wish. Waves of people poured down Congress Street toward the Prom.

PSO conductor Robert Moody seemed to sum up the mood of the crowd before the signature overture.

“I don’t think there’s any place better in the country to celebrate Independence Day than on the Eastern Prom with the Portland Symphony Orchestra,” he said, to cheers.

Staff Writer Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

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Twitter: @randybillings