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Inside Skyfire on KSAL

Jeff Garretson - July 2, 2014 11:41 am

Pyrotechnician John Ziegler can’t gaze upon his art as he paints the Salina sky with fireworks each year – but he knows it went well when he hears the horns honking.

“At the very end of the show you hear the horns and the clapping and the hooting and hollering, it’s worth it,” he said.

Ziegler joined in on the KSAL Morning News Wednesday with a look at his explosive craft.

“The smallest shell we have is a 3-inch in diameter, about the size of a baseball,” he explained.

“The largest shell we shoot in Salina is an 8-inch in diameter – that’s approaching basketball size.”

Ziegler says the big shells weigh between eleven to fifteen pounds and it takes an initial blast to get the ball airborne. “There’s actually two explosions. One on the ground and one up in the air,” he said.

“You’ve got to have some force to get it up 800-feet. When it gets up that high there’s a little charge in there that blows up, breaks the shell and that’s the pretty in the sky you see.”

The annual Skyfire Fireworks spectacular is scheduled for 10:00 Friday night at the East Crawford Recreation Area.

The fireworks display will again this year be synchronized to a very special patriotic music montage which will be broadcast on News Radio 1150 KSAL.

Ziegler works with KSAL News Director Todd Pittenger to put the program together.