Tag Archives: Pyrotechnics

Pyrotechnics Guild International 2015

WHAT: Pyrotechnics Guild International 2015
WHEN: Sunday 9th to Friday 14th August 2015
WHY: It’s a pyrotechnics convention
THEME: “Wyoming Fireworks Showdown”
WHERE: Cam-Plex Multi Event Facility, Gillette, Wyoming
COST: TBA

The guild was founded in 1969 by Max P Van der Horck who wanted to encourage the display of both public and private display fireworks to the masses. He also wanted the industry to remove the shroud of secrecy it is surrounded by and share the knowledge to those in power, like the political elite and the general public alike so that the use of fireworks was not lost forever. They need to ensure that safety is a priority and that the gathered energies of so many like-minded people actually get a voice and allow creativity to flow providing ideas and suggestions by the bucket load.

If you check back over time, it is surprising how often fireworks have been used around the globe but essentially, since the Americas were discovered, there have always been displays for one reason or another.

The guild has around 3500 members who range from the hobbyist all the way up to the hard-core technicians and everyone learns from one another.

The event is an opportunity for attendees to visit workshops and seminars on construction of pyrotechnics for everything from a little garden fountain all they way up to a huge 24 inch shell creation. There are classes for attendees to be certified as professional firers – the USA’s Display Operators Course DOC is equivalent to our BPA British Pyrotechnic Association certification. Safety briefings, how to make fireworks more environmentally friendly and everything in between.

There will be four display nights which are as follows:

Sunday 9th August 2015 Zambelli Fireworks Display and Passfire (a firework documentary from Jeremy and Jesse Veverka).

Tuesday 11th August 2015 Pyro FX Display and Casabella Fireworks.

Wednesday 12th August 2015 Hollywood Pyrotechnics.

Friday 14th August 2015 All Star Showcase – this is a composite display featuring cross company products.

Finale – To Be Announced.

Because this event appeals to a wide range of people from the young lad wanting to learn more for his chemistry test to the consummate professionals like the Zambellis, who are to fireworks what the Kennedy’s were to the US’s political history, there is something for everyone. During the writing of this blog, I had to check into some details about the Zambelli’s and checking out their photo gallery is awesome. They (as in one or other of the family members over the last century or so!) have met and in many cases fired for the last 9 presidents including as mentioned the Kennedy’s both Bush senior and junior, the Carters, the Reagan’s, the Pope, the Prime Minister and most of the heads of state across the world.

As there is entertainment on throughout for the children young and old alike, you need to be aware that absolutely NO outside food is permitted on the site due to the huge number of concessions about.

So, if you are connected to fireworks, whether in the industry as a firer or a retailer, this is just the ticket with days packed to the rafters with pyro. Collectors can pick up some unique ephemera and if you can’t resist getting involved (we know … a couple of days and you have to touch some!) there are lots of ‘volunteer’ opportunities as they set up mega strings of firecrackers (last event more than 3 million!) as ‘firing crew’ for one or other of the teams showcasing their abilities.

Previous visitors have said that this is a must do experience for anyone connected with pyro and it is a truly family orientated event. The organisers will even arrange accommodation for you and the family in a camper van (think Winnebago/Walter White rather than VW Camper/Scooby Doo).

Here’s a cool video below from the Grand Public Display shot by Wolverine Fireworks Display, Inc. at the 2014 Pyrotechnics Guild International held in Mason City, IA.

Wolverine PGI Grand Public Display 2014 from Veverka Bros. Productions on Vimeo.

We will naturally bring you images as soon as they are available and in the meantime have a boomtiful day.

Firework or Pyrotechnic?

We often get asked if we do Pyrotechnics? Although the words “fireworks” and “pyrotechnic” are classed as the same product, whilst both are classed as explosives for storage reasons, they may fall into different classes, but there are obviously subtle differences.

Think of the difference between a party popper (classed as pyrotechnic) and a 500 shot roman candle barrage (firework) the storage regulations differ immensely.

While any item deemed to be a firework would usually be used outdoors and have a pre requisite safety distance, most pyrotechnics are designed predominantly for indoor use, another difference would be the amount of debris produced and the safety distances required.

As anyone who has had the pleasure to use our fireworks will be aware, after the show you will find hundreds of tiny cardboard discs. The discs are there for a very good reason, most of our barrages have the effects preloaded into tubes which make up the cake as it is also known the discs are there to contain the exotic powders in the tubes, which is why we don’t have to worry when loading a customer’s car with their purchased pyro if the boxes are placed on their sides as we know nothing will spill out because of the discs.

Pyrotechnics generally don’t have any debris associated with them as again they are usually used indoors, neither do they have a safety distance of 5, 8 or 25 metres (dependent on the classification of the firework) and usually a pyrotechnic would be electronically fired where all our fireworks have a fuse with a time delay of around 8-10 seconds.

So if you are looking for smoke bombs, flares (either hand-held or fired from a flare gun), flame projectors, waterfalls, Gerbs and Saxons (spinning Gerbs), I’m afraid you won’t find these on our site as these are all classed as pyrotechnics and as we specialize in fireworks, having the UK’s biggest range of 1.3g fireworks.

Sydney NYE Fireworks 2014/15

Australia is the first place to televise the welcoming of the New Year fireworks around the Globe and year on year it gets more spectacular.

The event is paid for by the local Sydney Government and it brings in a staggering a 156 million Australian Dollars to the local economy.

The fireworks show for New Year in Australia’s heartland are split into two sections, the first of which is a family event which takes place at around 9:00pm to enable the parents to show the children a beautiful fireworks display before hopefully settling so that the adults can enjoy their celebrations.

The pyrotechnics are the brainchild of Foti Fireworks who are one of a handful of ‘first families of fireworks’ of Italian heritage established in 1793. In 1952, Celestino Foti emigrated to Australia, having been a prisoner of war there in WWII and started off with Vulcan Fireworks before eventually taking ownership of the company with his son Sam in 1969 and he never looked back, staying in the pyrotechnics field right up until he sadly passed away following complications after he received an injury in 2001.

His family continues with the family tradition and I would have thought that by this stage, seven generations later, the pyrotechnics are in their genes!

Sam Foti, Master Pyro-technician, trained in Japan with the best of the best in their field and he actually holds the record for the biggest shell ever made and launched in Australia. It was a massive 24 inch “Silver Kamuro with Multi-shell Pistil” which weighed an incredible 80kg and took 6-weeks to make.

Of course, the first time that Foti did the fireworks was back in 1964 (50 years later and still putting on the best show in the World!!) and they continue with the tradition to this day and go from strength to strength.

The firework stats are impressive:

$156 million to the Australian economy
1 BILLION watch the midnight fireworks Worldwide
The technicians use an incredible 60 km of wiring (that is 196,850 feet of cable!!)
45 firing crew members
100,000 individual pyrotechnics
25,000 shooting comets
11,000 shells

This year’s theme is ‘Inspire’ as the country embraces their multi cultural ethnic mix as they welcome in 2015 as a whole nation.

We will of course be bringing you footage of the event as it unfolds some 11 hours ahead of the start of our celebrations.

All the best for 2015 to our compatriots in the industry who will of course be working hard until the wee small hours to ensure that everyone across the world will have a New Year to remember.

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