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Pyrotechnics for Fun and Profit

Once you get all of the stuff together and counted so you know you have enough for the show, you start the assembly process. This takes about two or three hours for a show of this size.


getting ready for the shootNow you start putting it all together. Once you have the mortors tubes all built and positioned, you start putting the shells in. This is when you have to be a little careful. It looks bad to blow off a finger or hand before the show starts.
loading the shellsYou carefully cut the tape holding the strings together, untangle them and load them into the tubes. You have to make sure you don't have 3" tubes to 2" shells or visa versa.
loading the shells"I know he said to put them in the tubes, but in what order?" You have to figure out if there is going to be a change in the way the shells are set up, or are they going to get launched as they came. They generally get launced as they came.
everything readyOnce everything is loaded, checked, doublechecked and ready to go, you put aluminum foil over the fuses and the tubes to keep moisture out of the tubes (we do live in Washington state) and keep falling sparks off the fuses and out of the tubes. You don't want things going off when you didn't light it.
ready to light The flares are lit and we are waiting on the cue to start lighting. There are two people there with road flares. Once the signal is given for the start of the show, one lights one section, while the other waits for cues and lights the other section.
lighting the fireworksWe are ready to go. We have been given the signal and the show is about to start. You start to really anticipate the noise and the chaos. This is what all of the work was for.
one set of fireworks going off while we light the next setYou have to be careful when you are lighting your section and watching the shells go out of the tubes. You have to be sure your timeing is good and you are lighting the right ones at the right time. You also watch everyone around you, pay attention to the fuses and the shells while sparks fall all around you and big explosians are ringing in your ears.
lighting the fireworksIt does get a little chaotic when things are blowing up all around you. But you focus on what you are doing. It seems like a much longer time than it is because of all of the activity. You don't actually get to see much of the show because you are so busy.
fireworks going offfireworks going offThe final product of all that work. And it is worth it. As soon as your done with the fireworks, you have to start taking everything apart and cleaning up the site. Oh well, there is the next shoot to look forward to.


Updated by bill bowlan on 09/10/2001