Updated: Friday, 11 Sep 2009, 11:48 PM CDT
Published : Friday, 11 Sep 2009, 10:02 PM CDT
FOND DU LAC - For many of the crews at the National Fireworks Association Convention, pyrotechnics run not only in the family, but in the veins.
“A 20 minute show can take 500 hundred hours of work to do but they love it," Dick Hardy with the National Fireworks Association said.but they love it. "These guys are pure pyrotechnicians. There was a saying that once you have smelt the smoke you can never go away.”
Hardy says the annual convention is a reunion for the industry, but also a business meeting where millions of dollars change hands.
According to the Fond du Lac Convention and Visitors Bureau there are 30 different manufacturers from China and 41 different states represented.
The event is expected to pump nearly $1 million into the local economy and plenty of other business outside it. Pyrotechnic teams and manufacturers relish the opportunity to show their skills to brokers.
Crew members from Wolverine Fireworks Display of Michigan, one of many companies in attendance, say the convention helps them meet distributors and customers. They choreographed a 9-11 tribute to music. The show will be set off electronically, but crew members say set-up is always a challenge.
"We've been working for three days, day and night setting up this display," Raymond Meyer with Wolverine said.
The city estimates 25,000 people turned out to watch the event. The 9-11 tribute lasted 26 minutes for a cost of $40,000.