Wednesday, 05 July 2006

Lighting the showUpdate: Both Rich and Travis have posted blog entries about our fireworks show, check 'em out.

Once mortars (the tubes that the shells are launched out of) are installed (which takes a while and represents the bulk of the manual labor that goes into a show), it's time to load the shells. This is the last fireworks show post until I can get some video or images of the show itself from others, since during the display I have to watch the line crew and supervise for safety and light some shells myself - no time for taking pictures, so I rely on others.

(Update: Crew-member Erik Dake shot the picture at left, which shows us from a distance lighting off the shells that are launching into the night sky. Note that it's a long exposure - so you're seeing several shots worth of flame and lit up smoke. It gives you an inkling of an idea of what it's like, though.)

After installing the mortars, the remainder of the afternoon was spent loading the show, doing some walk-through training to show how we light the shells, lots of redundant safety training all afternoon, and finally getting some dinner before blowing the whole thing up. Several new crew members that were here for their first show had the chance to light the show and experience the smoke and noise. There's really nothing quite like it.

The show was terrific (lots of extended cheers from the crowd, which is pretty much the only real litmus test) and the crew did a great job from beginning to end. Here are some pictures of the crew members setting up and loading shells in the evening, in preparation for the show. Note that we spend about 6-7 hours setting up a show that took 22 minutes to completely destroy. It was worth it.

Here's the pics...

Travis (who got his pyrotechnician license from the state recently - congrats!) loads some of the mortars that will be used to fire the finale:

Travis loads the finale shells

Rich and Desann - first-timers - load a five-inch shell:

Loading more shells

The "other" Scoble (Alex, that is, also a first-timer) loading five-inch shells:

Alex loading

Jake (another first-timer, lots of those today) loads more shells:

Drop a shell

The crew loads the line:

Loading the line

Dave loading another mortar:

Dave drops a shell in

Jake, Jenn (also recently got her pyro license!), Brad and Erik (both repeat offenders) loading mortars with shells:

Crew loading

Thanks to a great crew for putting on a great show. I'll be glad to work with any and all of these people again.



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