Since the first Boomsday in 1987, Pyro Shows has sent fireworks flying and cascading from the Henley Street bridge. The bridge is currently dismantled, causing them to move tonight’s show several yards downstream to the railroad bridge. A few clues about the 25th annual Boomsday celebration are included in an article in Friday’s News Sentinel:
Here’s how the show will work. The fireworks will be set up on 90-foot-long flatbed railroad cars. About five cars will be used for fireworks of a 10- to 12-car train, said Pyro Shows Vice President of Operations Mike Walden. No other trains that regularly use the bridge are scheduled for Sunday traffic, Walden says.
So instead of using the five-lane, 800-foot long Henley Bridge, Pyro Shows’ epicenter will be a narrower as well as shorter — about 400-feet — work space. And since the railroad bridge is lower than the Henley Bridge, fireworks will launch 50 to 75 feet lower than they have in past years. Walden predicts the average Boomsday fan won’t really notice the difference.
But viewers are likely to get a more comprehensive view of the display. “The really cool thing is there is no handrail and no sidewalk (on the bridge) so you literally will be able to see what happens from the time the fireworks are lit.
“If you have always watched Boomsday from Volunteer Landing you are still going to see a great show from Volunteer Landing,” says Walden. Because of the bridge location he says the usually good view of fireworks from the Thompson-Boling area of Neyland will be better than in past years.
Each year Pyro, based in LaFollette, promises surprises for the East Tennessee show in which it takes great pride. This year that surprise may just be that waterfall of fireworks. “I think that is where everyone is going to be very, very surprised,” says Walden. “Hopefully it will look the same. But we are doing it in a completely different way.
“Rhapsody in Blue,” the tune normally associated with the waterfall effect will come earlier in the show than usual. Much earlier. The theme from “Jaws” comes near the end of the show. The synchronized soundtrack on Star 102.1 includes current songs you’d expect like Katy Perry’s “Firework” and Ke$ha’s “Blow.”
I think it’s safe to predict that there will be an emotional reaction when the crowd hears the voice of Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt introducing the “Tennessee Waltz.” It is followed by football coach Derek Dooley introducing “Rocky Top.”