Celebrate Blackfoot was back this year and it tried to go bigger and better than last year.
This year they added a kids carnival. There was also live music and entertainment, anything from bands to Aztec dancers.
There were about 60 vendors this year, both business and food. There was a car show on Saturday as well as a military display. The military display featured tanks and other equipment, including a Blackhawk helicopter that flew in for the event.
Ending the night was the Liberty Fireworks show, sponsored by Bingham Memorial Hospital. The hospital teamed up with Idaho Central Credit Union to make this show even bigger and add more fireworks and effects.
Mark Baker, public relations director for Bingham Memorial, said they expected around 50,000 to 60,000 people to attend this year’s event, up from last year’s 35,000.
KIFI/KIDK got the opportunity to count down and start the fireworks show. We also took a look behind the scenes to see what it takes to put a show like the Liberty Fireworks together.
“We’ve got the largest shells in Eastern Idaho,” Baker said. He was referring to the 10-inch fireworks. The Liberty Fireworks show featured a countless number of fireworks ranging in size from one inch to ten inches.
The ten inch fireworks span about 1,000 to 1,200 feet. That means up in the air they put out a span as wide as the entire Jensen Lake that they are going over.
But it’s not just the fireworks by themselves that make the show.
“One of the things that really makes this show unique is that we do a fully choreographed show that’s synchronized with music and narration,” Baker said.
The show featured about 30,000 different effects. It also had computerized sequences that have been timed out perfectly – some down to one-tenth of a second.
“We want to create multi-tiered display so that there’s a broad base of effects that have higher tiers going off over them that coordinate with those other tiers,” said Al Burns, vice president of Fireworks West, the company in charge of the fireworks show. “So time and time again we recreate a picture in the sky.”
Burns said for each show, they have to consider things like music, contrast, high points, dynamics and elegance before writing out a script for the show.
It takes about 36 to 48 hours to plan and organize the show beforehand. Then the day before and day of, it take around 20 hours to set them all up. Each one needs to be wired and connected and the larger ones are put into barrels of sand to anchor them down.
“In that 26 minute timeframe, they’re going to see just as much here minute per minute as you’re going to see anywhere else,” Burns said.
Burns added the hardest part with shows like these is the weather and keeping up with it. Sometimes it changes constantly and it’s hard to work with. He said the best part is trying to create the best show around, and seeing the community get so excited and so involved.