The big show
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Unlike backyard fireworks that happen pretty much completely randomly, major community fireworks shows take months of design and planning and require a host of people to pull off. A choreographer assembles the script for the show, and in most cases programs computers to execute the plan. The stagehands or crew carry out the directions of the production manager and choreographer and prepare to safely launch the fireworks. In some shows, an announcer will explain to the audience what is coming up. Finally, no show would be successful without the safety crew, whose sole job is to ensure that the fireworks are produced safely. These are the cities that have the most spectacular 4th of July fireworks.
There’s only one person who can set the fireworks show in motion and that’s the production manager, also known as the Lead Shooter. And for good reason. “When multiple events are occurring, the production manager manages competing events,” says Dan Creagan, pyrotechnician and media coordinator for Pyrotechnics Guild International (PGI). “He or she directs the placement of the different launching mechanisms and ensures that all parties are in safety compliance.”