Monday, April 27, 2009

11th International Symposium on Fireworks, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 2009

The International Symposium on Fireworks was held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico last week. With over 300 attendants from 30+ countries, and 10 fireworks shows over the course of the week, it was a fantastic symposium! The Mexican hosts did a great job organizing the event and showing everyone the unique style of Mexican fireworks, and the time and work involved in building their famous Castillos!!

We had a great time watching all the Castillos with their funky colours of blue, pink, red, white, yellow, purple, orange, aqua, pink glitter, white glitter and green glitters! The photos and videos don't come close to showing the actual colours or brightness of the lances. Almost all the time the colours are so bright that cameras have to be adjusted to its lowest exposure value (mine was -2.0)

The colours are so saturated and pure that it is hard to believe you are looking at something burning and not little Christmas lights! At the end, the lances usually turn into a blindingly white, green, aqua or pink strobe effect that has to be seen to be appreciated.

Monday 20th April
Display by : Union de Pirotecnicos del Estado de Jalisco, Comision representativa del Estado de Michoacan, Comision Representativa del Estado de Guanajuato, Antonio Sonora Corona, Zacatecas.

Type of Show:
Traditional "Castillos de Morillo" plus Aerial Display

Girondolas with lances set up on the playground


More Castillos

View of all the Castillos ..

This was an amazing show, lasting over an hour with lots of mosaic walls, groovy wheels, girondolas and set pieces.

Tuesday 21st April
Display by Pirotecnicos de Tultepec.
Type of Show: Daylight Castillo


Helicopter on the top of the Castillo - it looks small in this photo, but after "landing" ...

this is how big it was! That's John Werner in the photo, with Phil Grucci and Tino Foti behind posing with the other helicopter.

Rows of rockets with colour smoke and whistles!

This was the only daytime display at the Symposium and it was truly unique. It lasted for about 20 minutes and was like watching a puppet show with plenty of surprises.

Tuesday 21st April
Display by Pirotecnicos de Tultepec.
Type of Show: Pyromuscial including Castillos. This display was choreographed and fired by Pirotecnicos Flores.

2 days, 120 crew, 1,200 cues, 10,000 lances, 3 Castillos of 35m height and a main castillo of 50m height.

Lunch time for the crew

View from the playground behind the display.

The 50m high Castillo

That's one big Spanish style single shot rack!

About 6 armed security guards watching the set up.

Pyromusical fired using Pyromate®

Globos Aerostaticos - Hot Air Balloons

Similar to Sky Lanterns, these colourful Hot Air Balloons come in all different shapes and sizes, and even come attached to lances for nighttime! Under the balloon is a knitted ball soaked in camphor.

Here's how it works ..

Here's one at night with lances hanging off! One of these fell back into the audience a minute or so after going up, but it's Mexico, so it's cool!!

Tuesday 21st April
Display by Pirotecnia Espectacular Adan
Type of Show:
Castillo Pyromusical

Location: the Malecon

Mexico Ante El Mundo or Mexico To The World was the title of the show. Amazing Castillos of 3 famous landmarks

Thursday 23rd April
Display by Ramsa Pirotecnia
Type of Show: Traditional “Castillo” plus Pyromusical

From San Pedro Zumpango, David Silva of Pyro ® Producciones Piromusicales designed and fired this 19 minute show with FIREONE ® equipment. The pyromusical show consisted of a great Castillo with double tower 30m high with set pieces, 3”, 4”, 6” an 8” shells made by the Ramos Family, and bonbettes, candles, mines and comets made by APM Fireworks of Joel Hernandez.

This show was an excellent choreographed display to music with a fantastic set piece with a giant spinning wheel. A horizontal butterfly set piece that takes off!!

Thursday 23rd April
Display by Union de Pirotecnicos de San Mateo Tlalchichilpan.
Type of Show: Traditional

Photo of the set up:

This was fantastic! Started off as a motionless circle gerb set piece but then the two rotation wheels started!

As this wheel spins, one pattern emerges but after about 20-30 seconds, the pattern changes to another and then back again! The lances are made with a "dark" composition pressed in between one or two colours.

Lots of mini girondolas on top of the Castillo!!

Friday 24th April
Display by Fuegos Artificiales Ramos Garcia, Fuegos Artificiales OSRAMS, Fuegos Artificiales Don Beo, Cesar Ramos Delgado, Fuegos Artificiales Monarca
Type of Show: Pyromusical

This display was fired at the end of the Closing Gala Dinner on the beach at the Westin Puerto Vallarta. Due to technical problems, the display did not start until 11pm.

That’s Roger Schneider.

Friday 24th April
Display by Union Estatal Poblana de la Pirotecnia Yotecatl
Type of Show:
Traditional “Castillo” plus aerial display

This display was at the Sports Ground, but those that attended the Gala did not see this as the show started promptly at 11pm, as there were about 45,000 locals waiting to see it. This show was presented by the state of Puebla, which is the second region of manufacturing of fireworks in Mexico. The display was accompanied by a live orchestra. We will have to wait for the video from The Fireworks Channel ….



On top of all these firework displays, about 35 papers were presented at this Symposium, over 10 moderated sessions and several workshops.

The tradeshow was very well attended with 24 exhibitors. Both Pirotecnia Adnan and Pirotecnicos de Tultepec had some very popular miniature dummy “toritos” and “castillos” displayed.

Fireone, Galaxis-Showtechnick, Pyrotronix, Infinity Visions/Pyrodigital and Firelinx all displayed their computer programmed firing systems, which are becoming very popular amongst Mexicans, because choreographed firework displays are now becoming as popular as their traditional “Castillos”.

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