Hours Of Work On The Ground Translates To Tulsa Fireworks


Friday, May 2nd 2014, 10:28 pm
By: Tess Maune


They light up the Tulsa night sky on many Friday nights, but before the Firework Friday show can blast off from ONEOK Field, there's a lot of engineering that has to go on.

With the flip of a switch the show begins, but before fireworks ignite the sky, there's a lot of work to be done. Though, it's a setup operation that's second nature to Imperial Fireworks owner, Ron Dugan.

"We've been doing the Drillers since 1976, I believe," Dugan said.

The shells, which are pretty much the fireworks, connect to a wire, or an igniter, in order to work. Dugan said the wires are essentially electric matches. No lighters or handheld matches are used in big fireworks shows anymore.

"Everything's gone electrically or computerized," Dugan said.

Everything except the process of putting the fireworks together, Dugan has about six guys on hand to help attach igniters to the 500 shells.

Then, they stuff each shell into reusable containers and wire them to a device that sends 24-volts of electricity, sparking the show.

"There's really no way to hook it up wrong, as long as you've got something in every hole, something's gonna fire," Dugan said.

The setup takes about two and half hours, while the show lasts about eight minutes.

The big fireworks are launched from a vacant lot, not too far from the ballpark, and just feet away from the train tracks. The train is one thing that, unfortunately, could delay the start of the show.

"If you're out here at a game, sometimes might be a little delayed because there's a train coming by back here," said Dugan.

Stalling the start time is a precautionary measure, Dugan says, but once the show is ready to start, the big fireworks are synched with a smaller show seen on the field.

"You might have 300 shots go off in 30 seconds," Dugan said.

All their hard works leads to a show views won't want to miss.