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Students can expect to see Walt Disney World-level fireworks on Halloween as five nationally known fireworks companies come to Mack Park for a safety demonstration.
The American Pyrotechnic Association and Starfire Corporation decided to set off a fireworks display after contacting Mark Piwinsky, chair of the communications media department, to update the APA’s 20-year-old training videos.
At 8:30 p.m. Oct. 31, the Indiana community can watch an 18-minute, computer-controlled show choreographed to music.
Starfire Corporation was just at Walt Disney World two weeks ago to help set up a show.
“They told us the show is going to be very, very well done,” Piwinsky said. “This is the promotional show to their own industry so they want it to look big.”
In support of the event, the Indiana Lions Club will be hosting a free Fun Fest at Mack Park at 3 p.m. Oct. 31, which will be modeled closely after the July 4th event held in Indiana every year.
Visitors can expect to see a vintage car show, local bands, some church groups, food vendors and, of course, fireworks.
The Lions Club will be asking for donations at the gate to go towards the camp they run in the summer for children with special needs.
The fireworks display will provide a great opportunity for the communications media department to get involved, Piwinsky said.
He jumped at the opportunity to create the APA’s training videos and set Lacey Fulton, communications media instructor and doctoral candidate, and a team of 10 communications students to the task of writing up a shooting script and preparing to film the new videos.
To get ready for the actual filming, Fulton and a colleague went to the Dayton Fair where Starfire Corporation was putting on fireworks for a country concert.
“I got a fireworks crash course in an hour and a half,” Fulton said. “I learned everything about fireworks from how to load them to all the safety procedures that must be followed. I even got to choose the fireworks for the finale.”
The 25-minute-long video to be filmed by the communications department is called “Celebrate Safely,” the first in a series of fireworks education videos aimed at people who have no firework experience but are trying to get into the business.
The video focuses on teaching the viewer about safety restrictions with transporting, setting off and cleaning up fireworks.
The team will begin shooting on Tuesday and follow the teams as they leave the firework plants, set them up, set them off and load everything up to bring it back to the plant.
Fulton expects shooting to be finished by the first week of November, and then they will be in edit mode where they spend two months dedicated solely to the video.
The video will premiere at the APA’s Winter Educational Conference in Las Vegas Feb. 18-21.
Fulton said she is excited that the communications department has this opportunity for national recognition.
“It’s really exciting that they came to us, and they trusted our expertise along with their vision to create a product that they will distribute nationally,” Fulton said. “We’ve done training videos in the past for the police departments, but that was just a state thing. Everyone will see it.”
And what were they going to do with all those fireworks?
“They figured if they’re all set up, why not set them off and give Indiana a show?” Piwinsky said.