WASHINGTON CITY – While communities have been celebrating Utah’s Pioneer Day holiday, local resident and pyrotechnician Todd Alford and his crew have been busy setting up fireworks that will fill the skies over Washington City in culmination of today’s Mormon pioneer memorial events.
Putting together a fireworks extravaganza is an undertaking and to Alford’s point of view it is an art and offering that is sadly slipping away from many Southern Utah events.
This year, Alford engaged Vortex Fireworks Artists to engineer a fantastic display of over 1,000 fireworks to commemorate the event and the Washington City display promises to impress. Vortex is a Salt Lake based company owned by Chuck Johnson, Alford said, with a strong resumé of Utah shows it has produced and Hollywood movies for which it has supplied pyrotechnics.
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Videocast by Michael Flynn, St. George News
While Salt Lake City might boast of launching the largest fireworks into the sky this year, Alford said we’ll have more of them.
“This year’s show is a few shells larger than Sugarhouse Park,” he said.
But Alford’s endeavors go beyond this show, Alford is promoting a start-up fundraising website called SouthernUtahFireworks through which he said he hopes to obtain donations towards future fireworks shows.
Fireworks shows at events like Cotton Day and New Year’s Eve have been cancelled recently, he said, and is making it his campaign to bring those shows back.
At Southern Utah Fireworks, donors can purchase a window sticker or a bumper sticker to display the cause as they please, with those purchase funds going toward upcoming fireworks displays in the region.
The show tonight is designed to dazzle the summer skies and end this Pioneer Day with a bang. And, despite recent summer storms and rain always being a possibility in Southern Utah during the monsoon season, Alford said he doesn’t believe that rain alone is likely to cancel the show.
“It’s the wind that we’re really worried about,” he said. If its too windy, there is a possibility that the fire marshal will call off the display because of fire danger.
In the meantime, all systems are go.
St. George News wishes all an enjoyable holiday, with a reminder that observing fireworks and fire related restrictions in your area prevents fires, saves lives. Please refer to our Fire and fireworks restrictions guide, Southern Utah 2013.
What: Washington City Pioneer Day Fireworks Show, after dusk
Where: Washington City Community Center Park.
Contact: Telephone 435-656-6300 for more information.
Participate, donate to: SouthernUtahFireworks
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St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic contributed to this report.
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