Video: High-def fireworks

By Jerry Cobb Reporter
CNBC
updated 7/3/2006 5:54:11 PM ET 2006-07-03T21:54:11

An hour outside of Los Angeles dozens of trucks are ready to roll loaded with fireworks from Pyro Spectaculars which is staging hundreds of July Fourth fireworks shows across the country, including the Macy's celebration in New York — the nation's biggest. Pyro Spectaculars by Souza, is one of the premier pyrotechnic display companies in America and plans to stage over 400 Independence Day celebrations across the nation.

“This is about 65 percent of our revenue all year and it’s just going to happen on the July Fourth weekend,” says Jim Souza, president of Pyro Spectaculars.

Souza's family business, based in Rialto, Calif., has been wowing crowds with fireworks for three generations and is ready for its busiest day of the year.

His team carefully tests each show in advance and uses special software to control the launch system and choreograph the fireworks to music.

“Everybody always wants something new and different. I think we're seeing more demand for high-tech, high-design, high-style,” says Souza.

This year, it's high-definition fireworks, which Souza developed because more and more people are watching fireworks shows on HDTV sets.

"By bringing all the fireworks down and relatively closer to the crowd and the audience creates more excitement and anticipation. At the same time it gives us the ability to make them brighter and in different colors. This year we're introducing these pastels, the lemons and the limes and beautiful purples." says Souza.

While new technology has made fireworks bigger and brighter, new regulations have made it tougher to ship explosives and stage shows.

"There's been a big change after 9/11 in our industry. The biggest impact was the insurance —our insurance rates went up over 300 percent. At the same time there's increased regulations on the federal side." says Souza

Many communities throughout the Southwest are also canceling fireworks shows this year, due to dangerous drought conditions.

But Pyro Spectaculars will be busier than ever this fourth of July with more than 400 shows in cities across the country ranging from Houston, Boston, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, San Diego and all the way to Honolulu.

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