Clovis Freedom Fest: How a fireworks show is made

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Putting together a large fireworks show takes more than rigging the mortars in launchers. (KFSN)

Putting together a large fireworks show takes more than rigging the mortars in launchers. It's timing the music just perfect to each burst of color and making sure to plan ahead for the three second lag.

The bigger displays in the valley cost anywhere from 20 to 40 thousand dollars to put on. Sweating in the sun to put together an elaborate fireworks display is a tedious process. The job requires illuminating the sky in a way it naturally produces the 'oohs' and 'awws' and it's showing spectators you have the latest and greatest bursts on the market.

"Having unique fireworks every year. They are always trying to create a different and better firework. Whether it's a pattern shell or it's a lettered shell if you want to spell USA or we're always trying to do something different, a smiley face. There's all sorts of things that are out there these days," said Jordan Hunter, licensed pyrotechnician.

Freedom Fest, held this year at cLovis High, is one of the largest shows in the valley. Jordan Hunter has been behind the scenes for months picking the best music and most appropriate fireworks to match in a synchronized pattern. He spends all year surveying the competition.

"Anytime there's a fireworks show, whether it's Disneyland or somewhere else, I'm always looking at it, listening to the music, and seeing how they choreographed it. And I'm always comparing," said Hunter.

Comets and mines work great for upbeat music. They give a nice solid burn of a color. This pyrotechnician wants specific red, white and blue fireworks set off precisely the moments the words U.S.A. are sung. All this gets tricky because of the three second launch delay.

"It's something that I take a lot of pride in. I'm very particular in how things go. I spend a lot of pre-time in the upcoming months prior to the show really sitting down listening to the music figuring out, okay, where do I want to place this particular shell," said Hunter.

In between the sky show, ground displays are also set up to sparkle and woo crowds.

It will take about 24 hours for a crew of about 12 people who are putting together all these fireworks. All this labor for 20 minutes for a spectacular light show.

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society4th of july4th of july eventfresno countyClovis
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