When you think of the 4th of July, you usually think of two things: America’s freedom and…fireworks! But where do you even start with fireworks? Some cities allow them, some cities do not. They come in all shapes and sizes. My pets hate them. Piccolo Pete’s are so loud that they may be louder than Fred Flintstone himself. In other words, since there’s so many different things to mention about fireworks, a list of 10 fun, random facts seem fitting:
- The earliest documentation of fireworks dates back to 7th century China, where they were invented.
- Currently, the largest annual pyrotechnic display in North America is Thunder Over Louisville which kicks off the Kentucky Derby Festival.
- The Walt Disney Company is the largest consumer of fireworks in the United States.
- During the summer in Japan, fireworks festivals are held nearly every day someplace in the country, in total numbering more than 200 during August. The festivals consist of large fireworks shows, the largest of which use between 100,000 and 120,000 rounds, and can attract more than 800,000 spectators.
- Both fireworks and firecrackers are a popular tradition during Halloween in Nova Scotia and Vancouver, although apparently this is not the custom elsewhere in Canada.
- Enthusiasts in the United States have formed clubs which unite hobbyists and professionals. The groups provide safety instruction and organize meetings and private “shoots” at remote premises where members shoot commercial fireworks as well as fire pieces of their own manufacture. Clubs secure permission to fire items otherwise banned by state or local ordinances. Competitions are held among members and between clubs, demonstrating everything from single shells to elaborate displays choreographed to music.
- The most firework rockets launched in 30 seconds is 125,801, organized by Pyroworks International Inc. (Philippines), in Cebu, Philippines, on May 8, 2010.
- 77,282 firework projectiles were launched in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Kuwait’s constitution, becoming the largest in history. The display was part of celebrations on November 10, 2012 on the coastal Gulf Road.
- Copper produces blue-green colors in fireworks and halides of copper are used to make shades of blue.
- A cake is a cluster of individual tubes linked by fuse that fires a series of aerial effects. Tube diameters can range in size from 1⁄4 to 4 inches, and a single cake can have over 1,000 shots. The variety of effects within individual cakes is often such that they defy descriptive titles and are instead given cryptic names such as “Bermuda Triangle”, “Pyro Glyphics”, “Summer Storm”, “Waco Wakeup”, and “Poisonous Spider”, to name a few.
And if that wasn’t enough for you, you can find all sorts of interesting, useful, and random things about fireworks here at the Buena Park Library District.
So have fun, be safe, and don’t be afraid to explain fun, random (yet interesting and informative!) facts about fireworks to your friends and family on this 4th of July!