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Behind the Fire Lines at Go 4th!

Posted on July 3, 2019


fireworks entry
firework installation
Rozzi lead shooter, Mike (far left) and crew install shells below hillside

Our biggest party of the year wouldn’t be complete without the main event – Kettering’s amazing fireworks show! Every year, Kettering works with Rozzi Famous Fireworks to bring the party to the skies above Delco Park. This year promises to be the best yet – we even designed the playlist with your help!

As you might guess, getting the pyrotechnic display ready is a HUGE job. It takes crews several days to install the fireworks. We took a trip behind the fire lines at Delco Pond with Kettering’s Fire Marshal, Bill Ford, to take a firsthand look at the process.

Crews from Rozzi were busy hooking up shells – a tough job in the heat and humidity. Lead shooter Mike said that he and his crew have over 1,500 shells to install. The largest of these shells are six inches in diameter!  The Go 4th show includes three layers of fireworks for added depth – shells are shot off from the bottom of the hill behind Delco Pond and from the top of the hill at points also behind Delco Pond. The largest of the shells are installed under the hillside, furthest from the crowd, while the smaller shells are placed closer to the pond.

“The water is the best part of the site,” said Ford. “It provides a natural barrier from the crowd.” He explained that legally, the minimum amount of separation from the crowd for fireworks is 70 feet per inch of shell diameter, but that the Kettering Fire Department allows 100 feet for added safety. KFD is also onsite for the entire process, from installation through the end of the show, to supervise.

small shells
Smaller shells are placed closer to the pond

The fireworks are fired from a computerized system, and each shell is tested by the system prior to firing to make sure the connection is good. Safety is the number one priority of both Rozzi and the KFD.

Ford stressed that if you want to see fireworks, the best place to be is with us at Go 4th – NOT at home in the backyard. “Fireworks injured 9,000 people last year,” he said. “They’re illegal in Ohio, except for trick and novelty.” Ford strongly advised against using any type of fireworks at home, even legal ones. Leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals instead – they’ve got this down to a science, and the show is already looking impressive!

Installing fireworks is a major undertaking, and we hope you’ll come out to see the final product! Learn more about Go 4th.

pond fireworks
Fireworks are installed along the back edge of Delco Pond
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