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The fireworks made for a memorable night, Beverly Walker said, as the crowd was possibly the biggest ever, even bigger than when Ronald Reagan attended in 1984 and drew more than 60,000. The reason for the better fireworks this year is because Pyro Productions, which produced the show for the 13th straight year, did extras at no extra cost to make up for a fizzled finale last year.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
The fireworks made for a memorable night, Beverly Walker said, as the crowd was possibly the biggest ever, even bigger than when Ronald Reagan attended in 1984 and drew more than 60,000. The reason for the better fireworks this year is because Pyro Productions, which produced the show for the 13th straight year, did extras at no extra cost to make up for a fizzled finale last year.

Spirit director wants to keep synchronized music, fireworks show

By Paul Huggins
phuggins@decaturdaily.com · 340-2395

The Spirit of America fireworks show was perhaps the best ever, which puts Beverly Walker in a tight spot.

The director of the annual Fourth of July festival knows once the crowd gets exposed to a top show, it will expect that level of quality forevermore.

“We cannot regress. We must go forward,” she said.

The quality of this year’s show was the best Walker said she has ever seen and she said she has heard that from lots of attendees.

The fireworks made for a memorable night, she added, as the crowd was possibly the biggest ever, even bigger than when Ronald Reagan attended in 1984 and drew more than 60,000.

The reason for the better fireworks this year is because Pyro Productions, which produced the show for the 13th straight year, did extras at no extra cost to make up for a fizzled finale last year.

The 2006 show ended prematurely when a shell burst too low.

“Pyro went way beyond what was expected,” Walker said. “There was not a blank moment and the bursts went off exactly in time with the music.”

The main freebie Pyro added was a computer-synchronized firing system. It’s usually used for larger, more expensive shows.

Walker feels compelled to maintain this year’s level of quality and wants to keep the synchronized system.

That means finding more sponsors — this year’s sponsor was the Chest Pain Center at Parkway Medical Center — or redirecting money from other festival activities.

For next year at least, the festival board will consider dropping the July 3 band and using that money to supplement the fireworks budget.

“The third (of July) is
on a Wednesday next year and that being church night,
we don’t think we’ll get much of a crowd for a band,” Walker said.

She added that ’80s rock band Survivor, which performed Tuesday night, only drew a light audience.

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