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New Claremont pyrotechnicians to inspire “oohs”

When Claremont’s 64th annual Fourth of July celebration culminates in a burst of fireworks, some brand-new hands will be launching the pyrotechnics.

For the first time, Claremont has contracted with Bay Fireworks, a New York-based company that organizes July 4 fireworks displays for communities across the country.

The Fourth and the preceding week-and-a-half is a busy time for the pyrotechnicians. CEO Dennis Brady Jr. estimates that by the time the red, white and blue dust settles, Bay Fireworks will have produced 600 patriotic programs.

Mr. Brady has a job that many would envy. Each year, he and other company representatives travel from Europe to Asia to South America, looking for “the newest and coolest fireworks effects.”

The result is an eye-popping arsenal of fireworks, ranging from chrysanthemums and peonies to cascading waterfalls and kamuros (some refer to the latter as a weeping willow effect) to pattern shows that fill the night sky with fun figures like stars and smiley-faces.

Mr. Brady assures Claremonters that the local show, which kicks off at 9 p.m. at Pomona College’s Strehle Track, will be dazzling. Guests are invited to enter the gates of the college (340 N. College Ave.) at 6:30 p.m. A rock concert beginning at 6:45 p.m. will precede the fireworks.

Bay Fireworks has worked with Claremont’s Independence Day Committee to develop a charismatic 23-minute program of pyrotechnics synchronized with a range of music, from patriotic marches to pop tunes to country hits. The show will end with the company’s signature finale, which “starts with a huge bouquet of color and finishes with a thundering amount of salutes.”

“It’s very loud,” Mr. Brady said.

Claremont’s newest source of showy sparks has been in business for 25 years.

With Bay Fireworks providing pyrotechnics for rock shows, theme parks like Leogland and events like the Orange County Fair, the company is growing at a healthy pace.

The US economy has taken some hard hits in recent years, but community fireworks displays seem to be an inelastic demand, Mr. Brady noted.

“It’s important no matter how difficult times are,” he said. “It’s like comfort food—something people look forward to every year.”

Cities are making cuts across the board, but most seem to agree that maintaining Independence Day traditions helps foster community morale.

“It’s the one day where everything’s okay,” Mr. Brady said.

Tickets for Claremont’s Fireworks Spectacular are $10 at the gate and $8 pre-sale at locations like the Alexander Hughes Community Center (1700 Danbury Road) and the Claremont Chamber of Commerce (205 Yale Ave.).

For information, call 607-2671.

—Sarah Torribio

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