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Hudson Fireworks pack a lot of bang for the show

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published: July 9, 2014 12:00 AM
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Hudson -- Many enjoyed music, food and fireworks during the Independence Day weekend, but few realize the planning it takes to create the huge blasts in the sky -- 2,500 blasts over Hudson, to be exact.

The annual July event has been organized and sponsored by Hudson Community Foundation since 2007.

Based in Hudson, American Fireworks co-owner Roberto Sorgi said in about a month, he will meet with Hudson Community Foundation to plan next year's display. Sorgi said clients review what they liked and didn't like about past firework displays, and they script the new display.

The Hudson Community Foundation raises approximately $30,000 per year for the event and is raising funds to create a $750,000 endowment fund to pay for the fireworks in the future. So far, the endowment fund has $300,000, according to Don Tharp, chair of the board of directors for HCF.

Weather is the biggest unplanned factor, but July 5 had excellent weather and no problems or complaints, according to city Communications Director Jody Roberts.

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Estimates vary from 5,000 to 10,000 attending the event in front of Case-Barlow Farm and along Barlow and Terex roads. The city provides police, fire, emergency medical services and park services for the event with approximately $10,000 in overtime costs.

For three days before the event, 10 employees prepare the fireworks in the plant, Sorgi said. A crew of eight spend the entire day setting up the equipment to create the colorful display that will light up the sky at dusk.

A technician must train for more than 4 years and work in 40 shows to be the lead in his own show, Sorgi said.

"It's on-the-job training," he said.

The script will call for different sequences throughout the display, Sorgi said.

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"For the Fourth of July, we open with a patriotic theme of red, white and blue fireworks," Sorgi said.

All the shells are made of different chemical bases to make the different colors, he said. Gold is popular with drooping gold brocade displays, and titanium ends the show with a lot of noise.

For the Hudson display, American Fireworks prepared 2,500 shells ranging from 3 to 8 inches in diameter, Sorgi said. A 3-inch shell will fly 300 feet in the air and burst 250 feet in diameter across they sky, he said. An 8-inch shell can soar to 800 or 900 feet and burst 700 feet across the night.

"It turned out really well and fired pretty flawlessly," Sorgi said about the Hudson performance.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

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