SPOKANE, Wash. – As the 4th of July quickly approaches, many will be looking to the skies to watch the fireworks at Riverfront Park at 10:00 p.m.
Fireworks crews begin preparing for the show weeks in advance. KREM 2 found out what it takes to create a fireworks show before the fuse is lit.
While we are “oohing” and “awing” at the bombs bursting in the air, Fireworks Show Producer Rich Vaughn keeps track of the time and the beat.
“Doing the choreography in that end of it can be extremely time consuming because you want the shells to break at the proper beat of the music while it has to be back timed from when the shells fire,” explained Vaughn.
Producing a fireworks show is a numbers game, but it is also a work of art, or as Vaughn called it, a canvas in the sky. He starts by finding out what the customers want out of their show.
“Is it a kiss good night? Or is it to cap off your evening?” asked Vaughn, “If it’s 4th of July, it’s obviously about our independence…”
Then he works what seems like endless hours to bring the vision to life. That vision goes into a script, much like an author writing a story. Although the beginning of his story will get you hooked, Vaughn said it is really all about the ending.
“What do people remember? They remember the finale. You can have the greatest show in the world and have a lame finale, people are going to remember the finale,” said Vaughn.
And that is why Vaughn likes to produce his shows with a little twist that the audience is sure to love.
“You want to build the audiences’ anticipation and so you take it and build and build and build then they think ‘ok here’s the finale.’ Then you bring it back down and then the next time you bring it back up a bit higher and they think ‘this has got to be it,’ and then bring them back down and then from there bang you hit them,” explained Vaughn.
It is a lot of work, but Vaughn said there is just one moment after every show that makes it all worth it.
“The end of the fireworks show, no matter where you are at or what size show, whether it’s my show or somebody else’s… when you hear the crowd, that’s what makes it worthwhile…” said Vaughn.
Vaughn said you should expect a great finale this year at Riverfront Park. And it is not the only he is producing. This year, he has hit a record of 53 shows for the 4th of July weekend.