Photo courtesy of Pyro Shows.
0513 Freedom Fest July 4 Fireworks
The City of Hoover is planning to anchor its new event, Freedom Fest, with a large fireworks display by Pyro Shows.
Fireworks will return to the Hoover Met this Fourth of July, but the show promises to be unlike any the stadium saw during its time hosting the Barons.
“I think, actually, my terms were this needs to be the best firework show around on the Fourth of July,” said Lansden Hill Jr., president and CEO of Pyro Shows.
Pyro Shows is a company based in Tennessee that produced fireworks displays for the Birmingham Barons before the team relocated, but the company has extended its reach far beyond the Hoover Met. It has hosted displays on multiple continents and has orchestrated the annual show at the National Mall in Washington D.C. for the past decade.
Hill said the company puts on approximately 800 shows each year – 200 shows on the Fourth of July alone – but this show in Hoover, part of the City’s new Freedom Fest celebration, is intended for a bigger audience.
“In designing the Fourth of July fireworks spectacular for the City of Hoover, we planned to use fireworks up to six inches in diameter,” Hill said. “Each six-inch shell is about the size of a grapefruit and weighs about three pounds.”
Hill said the company would launch more than 100 of these as part of the Hoover show. The shells travel at 200 miles per hour, reach altitudes of 600 feet and, when they explode, spread more than 600 feet in diameter.
For reference, imagine 600 feet as about the length of 15 school buses set end-to-end. That, or about six blue whales.
“We will also use shells that are three, four and five inches in diameter,” Hill said. “Initially, we will use pattern shells that break into hearts, smiley faces, stars, squares and spirals.”
Hill added that shells would be fired about every two seconds throughout the 20-minute show, meaning more than 600 shells could explode over the Met during Freedom Fest.
The Freedom Fest fireworks spectacular will be accompanied by patriotic music. Both begin at 9 p.m., but, according to Hoover Events Coordinator Erin Colbaugh, Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey’s plan was to “make an evening out of it.”
Ivey wanted to host an event for Independence Day. Not just any Fourth of July celebration – a safe, family-friendly festival that would draw out crowds not only for this year, but for years to come.
Gates open at 5 p.m., but the City is inviting local car clubs to arrive at 4:30 p.m. and display near the Met’s front gate.
“If you have a car you want to display – anything from antique cars to muscle cars to hot rods – bring it in,” Colbaugh said. “There’s no charge.”
Beginning at 6 p.m., the City has arranged for performances by local bands Three on a String, Total Assets and Steve Padilla. Throughout the evening, a kids zone with inflatables will be set up on the picnic side of the facility and concessions, including adult beverages, will be available for purchase.
Outside food won’t be allowed in the facility, and Colbaugh said the City would be checking bags at the gate.
“The main point is that Mayor Ivey wants to focus on this event being family-friendly, safe and free,” Colbaugh said about Freedom Fest. “This event bills all that.”
For more, contact the City of Hoover at 444-7500 or visit hooveral.org.