4th of July Fireworks Show Preparations

set pieces
Setting up a fireworks show

Go behind the Scenes for the 4th of July, with Pyro Spectaculars

The 4th of July means more than just barbecues and parades – it’s also a time for dazzling fireworks displays! Pyro Spectaculars by Souza, one of the largest fireworks companies in the country, is preparing to launch an impressive 400 shows this year all across the United States. How do they pull it off? In this blog post, we take you behind the scenes of the fireworks industry, from the bunker where shells are housed to the moment when the crowds ooh and aah at the incredible displays.

Once a show gets sold, the show designer will work with the client to build the show based on length, music, and effects. For Pyro Spectacular’s sky concerts, which is a show that is meticulously timed and choreographed to music, the show designer will create a special music track that will allow the operator to know when each cue should be launched to hit in time to the music.

Every show be it a sky concert™ or a small show at the end of a baseball game, will need to have the shells carefully packaged.

Each show will have several boxes of product. Typically the product is sorted by type and size.  Multi shot devices are a box to themselves. Once packaged they need to be clearly marked to ensure they are going to the show they were packed for.

When the racks and equipment have been loaded, and shells have been addressed and boxed, the Pyro Spectaculars by Souza crew starts carefully loading the product into trucks to be driven to the site. This involves loading the shells into the many trucks needed to bring everything to the launch site. They also need to arrange everything to make sure the show runs smoothly. The crew spends the entire day staging and wiring the shells, making sure they’re safe, secure, and ready to launch for an amazing experience.

Creating a fireworks show begins far ahead of the 4th of July. Pyro Spectaculars by Souza has to source all their product, a process that starts almost a year before the 4th. These shells can come from all over the world. Red, white and blue 3″ finale from China, a  beautiful Nishiki Kamuro from Japan, or a stunning multi break cannister shell from Italy. These shells will be shipped and stored safely in bunkers until ready to start their journey to the sky. 


Here, a member of the Pyro Spectaculars team addresses shells used for a sky concert™. Each shell gets hand addressed and will be shot in time with the music. Smaller shows may have only dozens of shells and multi-shot devices, known as cakes, but the larger ones can have hundreds or even thousands. Macy’s 4th of July will have over 60,000 shells this year. 

It can take quite a while to get every shell addressed and boxed for a larger show. This is where the hard work starts. Right in the warehouse with the workers that touch every shell that will go in the sky this 4th.

Besides the fireworks, each show has a lot of equipment that must be set up. Here the team is loading racks into a truck. Each truck has enough racks for each different diameter shell to be placed. Some of the largest shells are shot out of steel tubes weighing hundreds of pounds. Each truck will get its own racks and a firing system. These firing systems allow the operator to safely shoot a fireworks show from a safe distance by using cables to wire each shell into a cue.

This Fourth of July, if you attend a Pyro Spectaculars by Souza fireworks show you’ll appreciate all the work and care that goes into creating an amazing display for you to enjoy. It’s a lot of hard work, but the thrill of lighting up the sky with colors and light is worth it. So, from the bunker to showtime, join us in appreciating and celebrating the magic of fireworks, made possible by Pyro Spectaculars by Souza.