The Pyrotechnics Guild International Show, sponsored by firework manufacturers from all over, convened at the La Porte County Fairgrounds for a week of competitions. Most of the firework displays included music, sky and set or ground works. One even had an impressive, long wall of fire surge skyward as heat and shock waves rolled over the fall out area, the VIP/ judge area, us and beyond.Competitors represented all fifty states. Classifications are determined by the size of the shell, which start larger than people can own legally without permits. Presentation, choreography, colors, (some I'd never seen displayed before) and the quality of shells. Presentations ran three-five songs or about fifteen minutes using aerial shells in a barrage, battery and fountains or bouquets or gerbs.
One youth group of 9-18 year olds dedicated their work to their retiring teacher/leader, who had 20 years of making these types of explosives and was noted for his innovative style. I found this pleasing display, including smiley face, particularly interesting.
To me, the Michigan group’s display was the best. Although it was not the most gaudy or spectacular, its presentation was delightful.In another type of competition individual shells shot by presenters who packed their own shells were judged.
Some displays were crowd pleasers, not for competition. There were also ground fireworks with pinwheels, colorful American flags, and messages blazing, such as I remember from my early married years. The announcer explained these are rarely done anymore since huge sky pyrotechnics are preferred. I missed much of the ground works because I'm short, in the section behind the VIPs, and in a flat Indiana field. Too bad because I really wanted to see that woman from California dance in the fire.
Young children would weary of it and babies should not attend. The crying, whimpering babies near us were subjected to over three hours of brutal, scary noise, and sound. For the price per car paid people didn’t want to leave early. (On the nights we didn’t go, we heard the booming twenty miles away.)
Ear protection is necessary. I wore both soft ear plugs and professional ear protectors such as are available for shooting ranges. Together they made the noise level comfortable, yet I could understand the announcer. This is an experience I’m glad I had.I was with people who've seen some of the finest fireworks in the country and they said it was impressive. If the Pyrotechnics Guild International comes to your area next year, make a date to see them. Just, remember phone photos won't do them justice.
Enjoy your last moments of summer! Until next time,