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Summer Celebration fireworks: Prepare to be oohed and awed

Laser Light Show

MUSKEGON — Expect the unexpected with this year’s Summer Celebration Fourth of July fireworks.

A new company, American Fireworks of Ohio, is doing them and the company has its own term for what will be lighting up the sky (and Muskegon Lake) — a pyro-musical.

“It’s something that will be really amazing,” said Brian Teeling, lead pyro-technician for Muskegon’s show. “People will go away with their jaws dropping. They’ll go away saying they can’t wait to see it again next year.”

The fireworks will begin after the final of tonight’s three musical acts, which typically is about 10:20 p.m. The concerts begin at 6 p.m. with Jimmy Buffett tribute band Live Bait and will be followed by Kalamazoo’s Matt Giraud of “American Idol” jazz fame. Tribute band Echoes of Pink Floyd takes the stage at 9 p.m. for a concert and laser-light show.

Concert-goers will get to see all the concerts and the fireworks for $20 from the Heritage Landing venue. However, those wanting to view the fireworks only from inside the concert grounds also must pay the $20.

Roberto Sorgi, owner of American Fireworks, said the 28-minute show will be choreographed to 30 songs, including tunes from Beyonce, Jimmy Buffett, Kiss and ZZ Top.

The fireworks will be launched from a barge in Muskegon Lake.

“It will feature products never seen before in Muskegon, such as 3-D effects, which will be neat,” Sorgi said. “We will always have something going on, from water to sky.”

This includes a shell that explodes in the water. “There’s a product that shoots into the water and burns on the water,” Teeling said.

That might sound dangerous, but Teeling said it isn’t.

“A computer fires the entire show,” he said. “Nobody is near the product the entire show. … This is as state-of-the-art as you can possibly get with fireworks.”

There’s also a safety perimeter of about 800 feet around the barge where no boats are permitted.

In addition, it’s not something you throw together in a couple of days.

“We’ve spent over a week on the Muskegon show — a week for 28 minutes,” Sorgi said.

The company has about 100 displays of various sizes going on over the Fourth of July weekend. Joe Austin, Summer Celebration’s executive director, said that budget-wise, Muskegon is in the top 15 shows the company’s putting on.

While Austin didn’t reveal how much the display costs, it is believed to be in the $40,000-$50,000 range.

Source : mlive.com

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