Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fireworks From Around The World - Valencia

What really impresses me about my trips to Valencia is the spirit of the locals and just how stylish and relaxed they all seem to be. The whole outdoor eating culture and Tapas eaten over a 2 hour Lunch is just perfect for me. This attitude is no more prominent than in the organisation of the Evening Fireworks Displays which take place on the Dry River Bed that cuts through Valencia. I say in the evening it is actually around 1am in the morning! This alone amazes me, you would never see anything like that in Britain, and the Local Authorities would never dare.

The City itself is Gorgeous and there is so much to do, the Dry River Bed where the large Night time Firework Display happen is actually a park open to the public, there are areas of grass, orange trees and open water areas where people laze the lovely sunny days away. The Firing Site is located in-between two bridges and is on what looks like a purpose created area. It is football pitch sized and is just gritty sand, probably made up from the hundreds of sandbags used, broken and left there after each show. Next to the firing area which is all fenced off is a café and you can be sure that each day for late lunch there is a whole host of international Anoraks gathered chewing their food and discussing the contents of the looming show which is set up ready to go just 50 metres away from them.

The set ups alone are quite impressive, no doubt even to those who do not have a clue what it is all for. Rows and rows of neatly laid racks and mortar tubes, Roman Candles, Cake Barrages and Flying Saucers litter the site in an orderly set up. Usually there is also a healthy compliment of computerised sequencer boxes and single shot arrangements, simply put this enables the Fireworks Operators to control via computer each and every single pyrotechnic effect. Now usually a firework is lit electrically and from that point on the rest of the fireworks timing Is controlled by the internal or external fusing. Now this fusing can be fairly accurate but some can also be fairly inaccurate, so it’s the done thing these days in large scale events to create real controlled design through electrical ignition of single effects. This means we can lay hundreds of cables, connections and igniters, even 1000’s and just for a few seconds of fireworks, massive effort for only a small amount of time. However its well worth it because for those few seconds you can create precisely what your imagination dreams of.

Once we have scanned the firing site we all try to have a guess at what is coming in the show that Night, second guessing what the layout will achieve in the Air, and of course we can see the total amount of stuff to be used and interestingly as the days and nights roll by the shows grow in size and by the last Night the Tennis Court sized firing area is bulging with around £100.000 worth of Fireworks.

Lee and the team from Britannia Fireworks will report on one of the shows seen and the carnival atmosphere in a future Blog

No comments: