Fire in the Sky Comes to The Beach Coast
By Barbara Voris Eastman
Anyone who has ever attended a fireworks display (and we assume that includes pretty much everyone on The Beach Coast) knows that these fiery spectacles that light up the night sky elicit gleeful “oohs and aahs” from people of all ages. Let’s face it. When it comes to fireworks, regardless of age, we’re all kids at heart. When an aerial mortar bursts into a glittery display that looks like a bouquet of beautiful chrysanthemums and dissolves into a sparkly shower resembling a waterfall, it’s hard to suppress those “oohs and aahs”, and why would you want to?
International Comes to La Porte County
Normally, our appetite for fireworks can only be sated around the 4th of July and maybe on New Year’s Eve. But this year visitors and residents of The Beach Coast have a special treat in store. Pyrotechnics Guild International, Inc. (PGI) will hold its annual convention, “Fire in the Sky,” at the La Porte County Fairgrounds (La Porte, IN) from August 11th to the 17th. PGI is an independent worldwide nonprofit organization of amateur and professional fireworks enthusiasts with about 3500 members.
Public Displays that Will Knock Your Socks Off
While the convention itself is limited to registered PGI members, the public is invited to fireworks displays on August 12th, 14th, 15th and 17th. On each of these four nights, PGI will showcase some spectacular aerial fireworks and ground displays with music and state-of-the-art special effects, culminating with the Grand Public Display on the 17th.
Invented by the Chinese
PGI was founded more than 40 years ago and while 40 years is a long time, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to how long fireworks have actually been around. They originated in China around the 7th century and have been used since that time in festivals and celebrations throughout the world. The early colonists brought fireworks with them to America, so these colorful displays have been part of our cultural fabric since the fledgling days of our country.
A Great Line-up
The series of public displays promises to bring some pretty amazing fireworks to La Porte and tickets are available at the La Porte County Convention and Visitors Bureau at Marquette Mall in Michigan City.
Gates open at 6:00 pm and readers should know that lawn chairs and coolers are not allowed, but grandstand seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. There will also be many food and beverage vendors on hand, so come early, stake out your seats and have dinner before the festivities begin at 9:00 pm. Ticketing information and details are available by clicking on the link below. Should inclement weather interfere with any of the display nights, August 16th and 18th are designated rain dates.
The Grand Finale
According to a PGI spokesperson, “We marshal all our collective talents and resources within the PGI and will do our best to leave LaPorte with a Grand Public Display they’ll never forget.” And if you are unable to attend you’ll have another chance four years from now when the PGI is tentatively scheduled to return to La Porte for its 2016 convention. But don’t wait—Fire in the Sky offers a rare opportunity to see the work of some of the best fireworks designers in the business. Let the “oohs and aahs” begin!
LaPorte County Fairgrounds
2581 W. State Rd 2
For tickets and information:
For more info about PGI:
Barbara Voris Eastman grew up in Michigan City and moved back to the area after spending nearly 35 years working in Chicago. She is both the editor and a regular contributor to www.thebeachcoast.com.