Sierra Jenkins / Tuesday, July 4, 2017 @ 9:53 a.m. / LoCO Video Reports
(VIDEO) HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! Pyro Spectaculars Team Prepares Elaborate $30K Fireworks Display to Launch from Barge on Humboldt Bay
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Tuesday night the sky above Humboldt Bay will be filled with a magical display of Fireworks — a display that costs roughly $30,000 — and it’s all made possible through community donations.
“Independence Day is an important day and this is a great way to celebrate it,” said Humboldt Bay Fire Battalion Chief and Fire Marshal, Ed Laidlaw. “And it shows this community’s giving nature to be able to have this show.”
And of course it wouldn’t be possible without the international pyrotechnics company Pyro Spectaculars, handling the potentially dangerous operation. This Fourth of July they’ll have shows from Eureka all the way to New York.
In this LoCO Video Report we meet up with the team of pyrotechnic pros. On Monday afternoon they were setting up a variety of mortars and aerial shells on a barge in Humboldt Bay, but the preparations go back many months.
“Fireworks shows usually start preparing at the beginning of the new year. So Pyro Spectaculars has worked with the City of Eureka to plan for the event, then we design the look of the show, and synchronize that to music, so we’ll have a display that is choreographed. Which is delightful,” said pyrotechnic operator Jared Amalong.
Amalong says the show will last roughly 15 minutes and will have 432 individual looks. However some will have multiple fireworks in one look, so there will be well-over 500 shells going into the sky. He says you can expect perfect spheres known as flowers, along with more specialized shells like smiley faces and heart shaped shells, and possibly a jellyfish.
“Then we hope to finish the show with a bang, and those are fireworks made of titanium, titanium salutes,” he says. “So there’s a lot of different looks we’ll enjoy this year.”
After the team had most of the firing system’s mortars, wiring and racks set-up they were inspected by Humboldt Bay Fire’s fire prevention division. Luckily it’s an electronic firing system, so technically there’s no fire on-deck. However they do have to ensure the fireworks launch in the right direction.
When everything is ready to go the barge will move out to a few hundred yards offshore between three large buoys, then the coast guard will monitor a 100-150 yard perimeter around the barge for safety.
If you do however choose to kayak, canoe or use any other watercraft to enjoy the fireworks from Humboldt Bay, officials say remember to have some sort of lights so boats can see you. For everyone else, you can find a great seat at various locations along the waterfront in Old Town. The show starts at 10 p.m.