Behind the Scenes of the FHNY Fireworks Display

Lana Harris reports on the city's preparations for the Famously Hot New Year.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Bright lights and big sounds are getting ready to fill the Columbia sky. The fireworks show at the Famously Hot New Year's event is described as the biggest fireworks show in the Carolinas, and we got to go behind the scenes to see how it is done.

"[It's] a lot of hard work," said Ryan Mathis with Pyrotechnico, the company putting on the display.

Mathis says that hard work starts with cleaning the fireworks' tubes.

"They're cleaning out trash from previous shows just so whenever we load them that they operate as best as they can," Mathis said.

Then, each individually wrapped firework is put in place.

"If there's any type of shells that we want to put around each other to get similar colors or anything like that," Mathis said.

The shapes and colors you see in the sky are all premade in little brown shells.

"Like here we have this shell that says purple wave with green pistil," Mathis says holding one of the shells, "so that means that at some point in the effect after it goes off, we'll see purple and then it'll go to green."

Mathis says most of the debris will dissolve into the air, and what doesn't should fall close to the blast site.

"With this wind it might land a little bit further down the street, but hopefully not outside the barricade," Mathis said.

"I love it," said Kelly Probus, also from working on the show with Pyrotechnico.

Probus is working on everyone's favorite, the finale.

"It's 10 shells chained together and so we only wire one electric match into the adaptor," Probus said.

Probus says once a signal is given, all 10 shells will go off at the same time.

"That gives you that really fast, really powerful finale effect," Probus said.

They say the time it takes to put all of this together is always worth it in the end.

"It's a really satisfying job just being able to provide a really cool experience to everyone," Probus said.

"For some people it might be their first fireworks show and to nkow we were able to bring that to them it's just really exciting," Mathis said.

"Even from so far away you can hear the people cheering," Probus said, "it's just really cool."

With the fireworks soaring close to 500 feet in the air, the show can be seen from all over downtown. The best spots will be at Main and Gervais.


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