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Skyfire 2016: More Red White and Blue

Jeff Garretson - July 1, 2016 1:45 pm

John Ziegler(center) and a group of volunteers will once again shoot the works at Skyfire on Monday night. Photo courtesy Skyfire Facebook page

John Ziegler(center) and a group of volunteers will once again shoot the works at Skyfire on Monday night. Photo courtesy Skyfire Facebook page

He’s got the worst seat in the house to watch the fireworks show in Salina – and he wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Pyrotechnician John Ziegler is the Maestro behind how Skyfire plays out across the night sky on July 4th.

“It’s like being at the foot of the stage and only seeing the bottom of the shoes of the performer,” Ziegler said during the KSAL Morning News on Friday.

“I love this job.”

On Monday night, Ziegler and a group of volunteers will be making final adjustments to shoot 509 shells into the sky that will be synchronized with a special patriotic music montage on NewsRadio 1150 KSAL.

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.

The longtime pyrotecnician is also proud that this year’s show is featuring more American made firworks than ever before.

“In the past almost all the fireworks we shot were manufactured in China – now it’s 80-percent American made,” Zieglar said.

The change came after Ziegler sought out a domestic connection to help celebrate our nation’s Independence Day, and he found it next door in Missouri.

“I met with award winning pyrotechnic designer, Aaron Mayfield of AM Pryotechnics and saw what we could do with his setup, design and shells and it was an easy choice.”

The annual Skyfire Fireworks spectacular is scheduled for 10:00 Monday night at the East Crawford Recreation Area and will be synchronized to a patriotic music montage which will be broadcast on News Radio 1150 KSAL, FM 104.9 and Y93.7 FM

Ziegler teams up with KSAL News Director Todd Pittenger to make the music and fireworks program mesh together in the air and over the air on radio.

“It’s going to be more red, white and blue than ever before,” Ziegler said.

City of Salina