world championship of fireworks?
April 20, 2013 2:13 AM   Subscribe

The British (whose country I live in) do amazing fireworks displays. Is there some kind of (any kind of) international/European championship of fireworks? OR, is there a blog of fireworks display videos you can direct me to.
posted by parmanparman to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I have just the thing for you
posted by fearnothing at 2:21 AM on April 20, 2013

Best answer: there's this in Southport, UK:

and also this in Cannes, France:
posted by rubyrudy at 2:30 AM on April 20, 2013

Best answer: The Benson & Hedges Symphony Of Fire was an annual international multi-day fireworks exhibition that held competitive events in Vancouver, Toronto, and in South Africa. In the year 2000, the Canadian government passed more restrictive laws about tobacco advertising, and in response Benson & Hedges withdrew their sponsorship and claimed trademark over the Symphony Of Fire brand.

The Canadian events eventually found alternate funding and are now known in Vancouver as the HSBC Celebration Of Light, and in Toronto as the Canada Day Festival Of Fire. Apparently the South Africa show is still called Symphony Of Fire.

The Toronto show is a week long (or longer some years, depending on the number of entries) competition where each night, teams from a different country present a choreographed fireworks display set to music which is broadcast on public radio during the performance. A panel of judges evaluates each show in several categories, and then the overall winning team gets to produce the grand finale exhibition on the last night of the event, which in Toronto is held on Canada Day and is part of that day's national celebrations.

It's like a little fireworks Olympics, and is a real crowd attraction. Since each country uses their own manufacturers, the production qualities including the effects themselves have a completely different style from night to night. There are lots of fan made videos of past shows on Youtube and elsewhere if you google the event names.
posted by ceribus peribus at 4:27 AM on April 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

In Montreal
posted by racingjs at 4:34 AM on April 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

You asked for videos of displays, but if you would like to learn more about how they are put on... Last year Discovery Channel in Canada ran a series called Pyros, which I really enjoyed watching, though it does suffer a bit from the usual "reality show" fake drama of creating a crisis where there really wasn't any. It covers a Quebec company putting on shows in Canada and other countries, I think including the Montreal competition linked to by racingjs above. There is, of course, a lot of footage of the displays, though that isn't the main focus of the series - more about how they are set up and deployed.

First episode is on Youtube here and you should be able to get to the other episodes through the related links on the side.
posted by valleys at 7:48 AM on April 20, 2013

The British National Fireworks championship (not yet updated for 2013) is in Plymouth annually. It's 13 & 14 August this year. We keep meaning to go up one year but haven't got round to it as yet; by reputation it is pretty impressive but it can be impacted by bad weather, as in 2012.
posted by biffa at 8:55 AM on April 20, 2013

I remember seeing something on TV about fireworks conventions, where the industry brings their latest fireworks to show off to prospective buyers. It looks like this organization does something like that.
posted by theuninvitedguest at 11:52 AM on April 20, 2013

even better: recipies!
(i had a better site bookmarked with more 'professional' instructions, but can't seem to turn it was fascinating tho...both from a chemistry perspective as well as artistic (how to pack those giant smiley-faces, cubes, and etc...)
don't blow yourself up!
posted by sexyrobot at 1:39 PM on April 20, 2013

Winterblast! American, not European, but still neat.
posted by The otter lady at 8:40 PM on April 20, 2013

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