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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Monett skies to explode with color for July 4

Friday, July 2, 2010

A ground display from the 2009 Monett show. [Times photo by Murray Bishoff]
Monett's Fourth of July will again have a spectacular fireworks display from A.M. Pyrotechnics as the highlight of the celebration on Sunday. The fireworks show is due to start around 9:30 p.m. at Monett's South Park and will last for approximately 20 minutes.

"You'll see a lot of our new line of product that we've been hearing customers raving about," said Aaron Mayfield, owner of A.M. Pyrotechnics.

Mayfield's firm, one of the top three domestic manufacturers of fireworks in terms of volume, started making its own fireworks in October 2008. A few of the shells that exploded over Monett skies last year came from Mayfield's factory, based in Buffalo.

"This year every six-inch shell will be made by us," Mayfield said. "We use purer chemicals than the Chinese use, so the colors really stand out.

"About five minutes into the show you'll get to see a special shell," Mayfield continued. "A six-inch shell usually has about a pound of fireworks in it. This one has five pounds. Instead of being round, it's shaped more like a giant coffee can. We only made 26 of these shells for the 47 states we serve. You're going to get one. It's a huge, huge sky filler."

New to the A.M. Pyrotechnics arsenal this year are shells with the "stardust firefly" effect with a unique willow look streaking the sky. Another will have a crackling effect that will erupt into "a golden horsetail-looking waterfall," which Mayfield called his company's signature firework.

Several fireworks will use a different design developed by the Italians, a much brighter look that will resemble a 10-inch shell in effect. There will also be the "flickering strobe" that flashes reds and greens like fireflies.

Unlike commercial fireworks, which rise to a height of 50 to 60 feet, Mayfield's lower level fireworks rise to a height of 150 feet. The Monett show will have 3,530 lower level shots.

Mayfield said fireworks his firm makes produce less smoke and allow a more choreographed show.

"You'll have two finales back-to-back," Mayfield said. "The first one will last about 60 seconds with all gold and red strobing flickers, five Stardust Fireflies for a really rare unique willow effect, then a five-at-once sky filler.

"Then as everything seems to be stopping, we'll fill the sky again with multiple colors----pink, lemon and orange pastels, not the typical colors----and glitter. We'll end with the big noise. The finale is chuck full of what everyone loves," Mayfield added.

Mayfield's crew is again teaming with the Baxter family as its shooting team in Monett. Mayfield commended Monett's celebration for buying Missouri-made fireworks.

"We're two hours from you. You can't beat that," Mayfield said. "There are less than 10 domestic manufacturers of fireworks left. The money is recirculated in Missouri and is very helpful to the economy."

Monett's show is already loaded in a trailer outside the A.M. Pyrotechnics facility ready for the big day.

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