Pyro Spectaculars, a producer and presenter of pyrotechnic displays and shows around the world, traces its beginnings to more than 90 years ago. Manuel de Souza, known as “Papagaio,” was the pioneer of animated pyrotechnic displays set to music. In the early 1900s, Papagaio brought his fireworks business from the Azores to the San Francisco Bay area. The Souza has carried on the tradition and now Pyro Spectaculars is the largest fireworks company on the West Coast and one of the largest in the country.
James Souza, President and CEO, is the great-grandson of Papagaio, and his two eldest sons now help him guide the way for Pyro Spectaculars by Souza.
Worldwide headquarters is located in Rialto, California, 50 miles east of Los Angeles. The company also has plants in Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, Fresno and Rocklin, California.
Pyro Spectaculars by Souza employs almost 50 fulltime people in California as part of its corporate staff. In addition, Pyro Spectaculars retains more than 2,000 licensed pyrotechnic operators, entertainers, technicians and other support people during the 4th of July season.
Hallmark Displays Through the Years
- Macy’s 4th of July Spectacular, New York City
- 100th and 125th Anniversaries of the Statue of Liberty
- 2004 Summer Olympics, Athens, Greece
- 2002 Winter Olympics, Salt Lake City
- 1996 Summer Olympics, Atlanta
- Opening and Closing Ceremonies of 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games
- World Cup ’94
- 1994 Pink Floyd Concert Tour
- Disneyland and Disney World
- Six Flags chain of amusement parks
- Several Super Bowls
- 50th Birthdays of Golden Gate and Oakland Bridges
- President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration in Washington
- OSCAR from National Academy of Arts and Sciences for “Apocalypse Now”