Fireworks ‘Olympics’ to light up sky

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It’s called the Olympics of fireworks and thousands of people are converging on Butler County Pennsylvania, the unofficial Fireworks Capital of America, for the “Boom and a Blast.”

Fireworks enthusiasts are lighting up the skies of Western Pennsylvania for the Pyrotechnics Guild’s International annual convention at Cooper’s Lake Campground in Slippery Rock, Pa.

By day, the convention is a trade show but at night, it’s a fireworks display that is like no other. For first time member, Dave Green, the show teaches valuable lessons on safety but also on how to make fireworks and the mix of art and chemistry.

“I never thought about that before when I was buying fireworks. I thought Oh, it’s a firecracker, never realized what goes into it. This is really interesting,” said Green.

The event is set up years in advance and almost all of the fireworks shows are choreographed to music.

“Many of the things are handmade, and they are too complicated to mass produce,” said Sue Armour of Mason City, Iowa. “Some of the shells and rockets are over the top fabulous.”

Workers were busy Friday setting up more than 6,000 fireworks for the finale. A 24 foot wide mortar is going to be one of the featured attractions at Friday’s show.

“So along with two beautifully choreographed displays, we are excited about a culmination of this year’s PGI convention in grand fashion,” said Mike Schmidt, PGI production crew member.

Friday night’s show begins at 7:30 p.m. at Cooper’s Lake Campground, 205 Currie Rd. Slippery Rock, Pa.


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