The Pyrotechnic Guild International was established in the USA in 1969 by Max P Vanderhorck, a meteorologist from San Diego. He wanted to create an association for people who share a fascination for pyrotechnics from across society from those with a passing interest to the full-on pyro pot!
Each year the event brings enthusiasts from across the USA and the remainder of the rest of the world to encourage and re-enforce the safe and responsible display of fireworks and pyrotechnic articles expanding on the creativity of spectacular fireworks and effects.
There are classes, seminars, and nightly firework displays and demonstrations and this Friday evening will see the launch of the 36inch shell created especially for the event. There is a number of things which are not allowed in the UK which feature heavily including the beautiful Girandola.
It is a family affair as even young pyro lovers can learn from the best and create their own fireworks under the close supervision of experts.
Over 4000 people generally attend the effect which takes place in a different City every year – last year it took place in Mason City, Iowa.
The exhibition event is also being attended by the team from Passfire, who are continuing their trek around the globe discovering the importance of fireworks, the communities and organisations dependent upon them and their use in fiestas and religious events like the Festa del Redentore in Spain or the massive Diwali celebrations in India.
We will bring you footage of the launch of the super shell soon.
In the meantime, here is a video of the PGI’s World’s Finest Rockets – 96 of them for this year as they mark the Golden Anniversary of the setting up of the guild. Enjoy:
WHAT: PGI RETURNS TO MASON CITY, IOWA WHY: PYROTECHNIC GUILD INTERNATIONAL DISPLAY EVENT – THUNDER AND FIRE WHERE: NORTH IOWA EVENTS CENTRE, MASON CITY, IOWA WHEN: SUNDAY 5TH, TUESDAY 7TH AND FRIDAY 1ST AUGUST 2018 COST: VARIES – SEE PGI WEBSITE FOR MORE DETAILS
The event, titled ‘Thunder and Fire’ is there to showcase new products, better and more stringent safety measures and the choreography, science and sheer creativity of the international pyrotechnicians. Around 3000 members of the PGI will be gathered together to share current best practice and catch up with old and new friends in the warmth of the Iowan sunshine as temperatures reach around 80 degrees at this time of the year. The event is family friendly and brings in the region of $2 million into the local economy.
The PGI was established in 1969 and this independent worldwide organization was to create a channel for sharing knowledge and experience and to witness first hand the advances in the industry. They currently have around 3500 members who range from the dedicated pyro enthusiast to those with a passing interest but may have a love of old firework ephemera or indeed, the technical side of firing systems etc.
The guild offers safety and training alongside display operative training days. They also have a charming ‘Help a Pyro’ to assist those who have fallen on hard times, either through financial hardship or indeed a health issue to support them in their time of need. It is odd that in such an incredibly competitive industry that their numbers would offer support so readily.
Tickets range from around $18-$20 for standard admission but reserved seating is only available for the Friday night show which is around $25-$30. The gates to the event arena are open from around 6pm and there are onsite food and beverage concessions available as well as onsite camping.