Pyrotechnics crew spends days preparing for Freedom Fest

Pyrotechnics crew spends days preparing for Freedom Fest

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Premier Pyrotechnics crew was hard at work for two days getting ready for Wednesday night's big Freedom Fest Fireworks Show.

A show like that one takes about an hour per minute to script in the computer and another hour per minute to set up, according to Scott Berry, the Chief Pyrotechnician with Premier Pyrotechnics.

"So for a 23-minute show, that's a lot of hours put into it," Berry said.

On Wednesday morning, the four-man team was hooking electric matches to each shell and connecting those matches to a module that is hooked up to a computer.

"Once I hit play on the computer, it sends a timed signal down to the hundredth of a second of exactly when to ignite that shell," Berry said.

The company tries to make the show bigger and better each year.

Owner Matt Sutcliffe goes to China each year to visit the firework manufacturing facilities and find new elements to add to their arsenal.

"We've got some shells in the show this year, as every year, that I've never seen before," Berry said. "They're going to be new to me as they're new to everybody else. This year we've got a lot of what we code as action shells. When they go off in the air they do other things. It's not just stars, we've got a lot this year that are swimming and moving and doing stuff."

And all the time spent setting up the show is worth it in the end for the crew.

"It is great for us, especially when we get a lot of positive feedback for the show and how well it looked and how everybody enjoyed it," Berry said.

Freedom Fest is held at the Southside Softball Complex. The show begins at 9:30 p.m.

Berry added that anyone interested in getting involved with commercial fireworks should contact Premier Pyrotechnics via their website.

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