Over 60 Years of Integrity, Excellence, Distinction
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The Top Ten List
Here are the Top Ten Tenets that define the core of our "Customer Care Program". Click on the green links below to find the questions you need to ask and the answers we need to provide regarding your special pyrotechnic production.

7. What does a show cost? How do I know what to budget? Realism

Realism: Interest in or concern for the actual or real, as distinguished for the abstract of speculative; the tendency to view or represent things as they really are.

When we meet with clients we hear the inevitable question, how much should I budget for a fireworks display? That is a difficult question and the answer resides on a variety of factors.

1.    EVENT PURPOSE: Part of the decision to choose a fireworks display is to determine the purpose of the display. Will the display be the main attraction of the event, such as for July 4th or for New Year’s Eve? Will the display be one of several entertainment opportunities? Is the purpose of the display to highlight another activity such as the start of a sports event, the grand opening of a new facility, part of a wedding ceremony, enhancement to a musical concert or the kickoff of a campaign?

2.    EVENT SITUATIONS: These decisions are part of the consideration for choosing the type of display as well. There are many different types of displays to choose from based upon the location of the event, the space between the potential launching area and the audience, the purpose and theme of the event, the specific regulations of the jurisdiction where the event is held and the time of day the event takes place. The most common type of fireworks show is the traditional outdoor fireworks display, but more venues are utilizing new designs and products used in close proximity pyrotechnics for outdoor events, indoor and theatrical pyrotechnics, and even a new line of daytime fireworks. These new designs and products give the sponsor and the pyrotechnic company much more flexibility in utilizing fireworks in their event. For a definition of the types of shows offered, please see GENRE.

3.    EVENT THEME:  Another factor can be the theme of the event. If the theme is formal or conservative, you may want to keep the pyrotechnics very soft and tasteful. If the event is “wild and crazy”, you may want to have lots of noise and many novelty effects used in a variety of combinations. The appropriate budget can depend on the size of the actual event, and if fireworks have been used in other events in the area. You would not want to have a major event with tens of thousands in attendance and put on a minuscule fireworks display. By the same comparison, if other events in the area have large displays with their events it is best to plan a display comparable to those other events, since the audience will have been conditioned to the scope of the other displays.

4.    PRODUCT TYPES: The type of products also comes into play when determining the appropriate budget. The larger the size of shells and other effects the more cost there is in the total production. It is not unusual for the sponsor to want the “biggest shells” in their display. That very common misconception makes their decision difficult due to the high cost of those “big shells.” The most important factor in any fireworks display is not the size but the quality of the product and how well the show is designed. Many shows have been considered the “best of the best” when utilizing medium or small sized effects by creating an artistically choreographed presentation that emphasizes their unique qualities in a beautiful design.

5.    QUANTITY VS. QUALITY: One important pitfall to avoid is the inclination to gauge the quality of a fireworks proposal by the amount of shells proposed. The reason this is dangerous is that if the proposal is based upon how many shells are represented rather than the quality of the products, more often that not you will end up with the cheapest and least reliable products available. This can jeopardize the integrity of the presentation and even be dangerous to the crew and the audience. Remember, the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low prices.

6.    OUTSIDE INFLUENCES: There can be many outside influences that affect the cost of a fireworks display. If the location is difficult to access, that can increase the fixed expenses. If the design of the show is particularly difficult or the implementation of special rigging is necessary, it can drive the cost up. If local regulations require unusual equipment or additional personnel, the cost can increase.

7.    BUDGET REDUCTIONS: There are also ways to reduce these increased costs or even the standard costs of the display. Many times a sponsor can provide some of the equipment or materials that the pyrotechnic company normally pays for. Utilizing a trade for equipment rental, services, security, or materials can substantially reduce the cost to the sponsor. Another way to access a trade is for the sponsor to provide rooms or meals to the contractor. Many times event sponsors use trade-outs of these items for performers and can do the same with the pyrotechnicians.

8.    BUDGET RANGE: Fireworks displays commonly range from $2,000.00 or $3,000.00 for a flurry of effects lasting a minute or two up to grandiose displays that cost over $1,000,000.00. Since all venues and events are different you should never rely upon a “price per minute” to determine your budget. The determination of what you should spend on your display must center on a frank and cogent discussion between you and your contractor. You should not base you selection of a contractor based on the price the he gives you for a show, but on the quality of their work, the extent of the services they provide, their concern for the success of your event, and the safety of your audience and their crew.


  1. Insist on a meeting with a pyrotechnic firm.

  2. Render the initial intuitive instinct you have about the pyrotechnic associate critical!

  3. Request cogent information on the firm, most notable: current references, hallmark of events, visual photographic tableaus, a copy of the insurance certificate, Mission Statement of the firm, and cancellation policies and procedures.

  4. Take time to explore the website of your contractor. Find out as much as you can about the pulse and tenor of the pyrotechnic firms you are considering.

  5. Search for the creative spark- that element that separates your pyrotechnic associate from others.

  6. Ask for specific references and video clips that are similar to the pyrotechnic venue you are planning.

Once you have determined that the company is right for you, then trust their judgment in working with you to develop the budget and show design that you can afford. This way you will have the best of both worlds. You will have a professional company who has your best interests at heart and a fireworks display that will impress and thrill your audience.

  Our Treasured Crews

Production Crews:  Close Proximity

Pre-show Production Meeting

FireOne Computer Testing

Wiring In Aerial Firing Site

Aerial Tableau: Ready For Launch

One of 26 Locations: Denver Millennium

Production Crews:  Close Proximity

Final Inspection of Script and Props

Four Stages on D&F Tower 16 Locations

Production Crew Together for Dinner


Realism: Interest in or concern for the actual or real, as distinguished for the abstract of speculative; the tendency to view or represent things as they really are.