Behind the scenes with Mum Pyrotechnics as they prepare to light up the night

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 8:32 PM CDT
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SAWYER, N.D. – The Minot Fireworks Association is still a go to have their annual fireworks show this Sunday.

While people in the community prepare to sit back and enjoy, the team at Mum Pyrotechnics are working overtime to get everything ready.

For the Mum Pyrotechnics team, every firework starts with canola seeds. With a process that takes several days from creating the explosive stars, to building, to wrapping and assembling more than 800 to 1,000 ready to launch shells for the Fourth of July show.

The less than 15 person crew spends all year preparing for this one event.

“It’s not something that comes easily. We do manufacture a lot of them at a time, so the time per shell does come down because it’s a team effort for the fourth of July and we are kind of mass producing them for the show,’ said member Jeremiah Agnes.

Despite the fireworks shortage affecting the accessibility of some materials, and increased costs on necessities like paper tape, everything except for the outer shells this year is hand made by the team.

“Sometimes we might need more black powder so our focus for the next couple two three days is to just get a bunch of charcoal burnt up to make black powder or somebody will make composition and somebody will roll stars and somebody will build shells,” said member Chaise Grondahl.

Even though members are volunteer hobbyists, they are certified by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to manufacture and transport fireworks.

With less than 72 hours to go, team members will be kicking production into over drive.

“The day of is really nerve wracking because it all has to come together, the whole town is watching so there’s a lot of nerves leading up to this,” said Agnes.

Everything from syncing the music to programming the charges, and even writing the script comes from Mum Pyrotechnics.

“We have anew setup now where it’s much easier for us to plug in the ques, it’s something that we’re going to have that’s going to be a lot easier to setup on the field,” said Grondahl.

The group relies completely on private donations and fundraising events held by the Minot Fireworks Association.

Group members said they hope the community will continue to support them in creating a one of a kind Minot attraction.

“These aren’t store bought fireworks. Nobody in the general public has access to the things we’re shooting on July fourth. It takes a lot of time and it take a lot of money to put on this show,” said Agnes.

With a goal of $20,000 already set of next year’s production, there’s still plenty of times for the community to show some love.

Setting things off with a bang this Independence Day.

The Mum Pyrotechnics crew won’t be shutting down production after the fourth. They said they will be putting their skills to the test and heading to Fargo for this year’s Pyrotechnics Guild international competition in August.

You can learn more about this team and get involved online here and here they are also selling commercial fireworks to fundraise for additional costs, you can connect with the professionals and learn more here.

The Minot Fireworks Association Adam Dyess said the nonprofit will be accepting cash donations on the Fourth of July during their show.

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