The world’s most awesome and amazing fireworks show that can be seen from Chestertown will be tossing explosives as high as 1,300 feet this Fourth of July.
And, after an absence of 16 years, the Independence Day show will be bursting again over the Chester River. So anybody in a boat or along the shore will see the rockets’ red and (being Chestertown) cinnabar, magenta, azure, turquoise and chartreuse glares reflected on the surface.
That will be like seeing the show twice, but simultaneously.
The launch point is the old Alger Oil facility, so the show will be visible for miles up and down the Chester, plus some unspecified long ways from either bank. There will be a boat-free zone that reaches 1,000 feet out from the triggering site, to protect waterborne gawkers from errant fireworks.
Pyrotechnic expert Richard Proctor, who’s company has put on the show here since 1989, says Chestertown’s show costs $20,000, some of which comes from donations – and that the town is really getting it’s money’s worth this year.
The biggest shell here is 12 inches in diameter, weighing about 50 pounds, which launches to 1,300 feet. Chestertown will have seven of those, each costing $500 to $750.
“Rock Hall has none,” says Proctor. “Their biggest shell is 10 inches. But Chestertown has 22 of the 10-inchers.”
Starting time on Saturday night will be about 9:20 if there’s no rain or other reasons to shoot earlier, or later. The show will last 25 minutes.
There are up to eight people working the show, which takes three days to set up. Proctor says the six to 12-inch shells are electrically fired. All the smaller ones down to two and a half inches are shot by hand.
“There is a shooter for each size, a timer who talks to us over headsets to keep the shooters on time and to let us know when to clear mortars,” says Proctor. “Then we have the fire company for backup.”
One more thing: Proctor wants to know if anybody would like to learn how to do this. He says to contact Town Hall and let them know your name and phone number. He will call you back.
But: “You must be 18 or older and pass an FBI background check.”