Lehigh Valley

Firework techs brave frosty conditions to give revelers NYE fireworks

Allentown show will go on despite the cold

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Before a single firework can be lit to ring in the new year, they have to be lifted out of a van and transported up to the roof the Wells Fargo bank in downtown Allentown.

"You do have to be prepared for anything," said Andrew Gregory, Operations Manager for Celebration Fireworks in Slatington.

"The hardest thing when we get here is just getting everything up onto the roof in a little elevator the size of a telephone booth," Gregory said.

This year, in addition to the tubes, wires and additional equipment needed to light up the new years night, they also needed gear to deal with rooftop weather conditions.

"This year we had to bring our snow shovels and salt," he said.

The cold is also a concern for the batteries that fuel the firing system to light the fireworks themselves.

"Just like with your vehicle any battery in the cold is a concern because when they get cold, they are not as strong as they normally are when they're warm." 

But Andrew says they'll be keeping them inside until a half hour before showtime. 

"We're going to make sure that we keep all the stuff with the batteries warm until the very last second." 

The unique automated lighting system they're using is created in State College, PA with a company called Fire One and it is used in celebrations around the world. 

"When they did the world record in Dubai, they were using Fire One equipment," Gregory explained.

What can revelers in the Queen City expect from tonight's show?

"It should be what we call a very busy and entertaining show for which they're going to stand out in the cold," Gregory said. "They won't feel cold, at least for ten to fifteen minutes." 
 


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