‘It was horrible’: Utah dancer describes getting hit by stray firework in Stadium of Fire mishap


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Just moments before her performance at the Stadium of Fire on the Fourth of July, 17-year-old dancer Mckenzie Harvey experienced quite a shock.

At the beginning of the show, fireworks launched into the crowd, injuring several people and sending six to the hospital. One of those hit by a stray firework was Harvey.

“It was so weird. I couldn’t hear anything for a minute,” she told ABC4. “Everything just went so quiet, and I looked around at my friends, and I was just like, what do I do?…There was smoke coming out of my mouth, and I could taste it. It was horrible.”

WATCH: Fireworks launch into crowd at Stadium of Fire, 6 taken to the hospital

Stadium of Fire is an annual Independence Day celebration at Brigham Young University’s LaVell Edwards Stadium. This was the third time that Harvey has danced at the event, but it was quite different from other years.

Harvey said she and other dancers with Identity Dance Team were standing on the field holding their flags, preparing for their performance to start when the stray firework struck her in the back, knocking her out of place. Surprised, the first thing Harvey did was step back into formation.

“That’s just what my brain went to,” she said. “Just do what you’re supposed to do.”

Afterward, her friends and director checked on her, taking her to medical responders who wrapped her injuries, which were a few minor burns.

“We just walked off the field and I was in shock and I don’t even like, I can’t even remember walking off the field … But everyone was like, ‘You were shaking so bad, crying a little bit,’” Harvey said. “I remember heavy breathing. I think I was just in panic mode.”

The event was delayed for about 10 to 15 minutes as those who were injured were helped by medical personnel. It resumed just before 9 p.m.

Even with her injuries, Harvey felt the show must go on.

“I was at practice for the last three days, hours on hours. We had to be there around 6:15 till noon in the mornings and then we would get a little break and then be back for the afternoon. So it was a long couple of days, but I wasn’t going to waste that and not perform,” she said.

Harvey remarked that this experience won’t deter her from dance, saying she would be open to performing at the Stadium of Fire again another year.

She said the pain set in more after she got over the initial shock, so she visited the emergency room to get seen where she was until about 2:30 a.m. Friday.

“It’s so weird to have that experience and the feeling of like, oh, I’m the girl that got hit by a firework,” Harvey said.

As of now, the condition of the others who were injured is not known. Provo Fire and Rescue released a statement that they are investigating the incident.

Fire officials are asking that anyone with video or information from the incident contact them at firemarshal@provo.org.

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