Keeper of the Plans

Extravagant ‘Disney-style’ fireworks show coming to Andover this weekend

The National Fireworks Association is producing a large-scale fireworks show in Andover Central Park this Friday evening at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5.
The National Fireworks Association is producing a large-scale fireworks show in Andover Central Park this Friday evening at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5. The Wichita Eagle

Fourth of July may have been months ago, but what’s likely to be the biggest fireworks show in Wichita this year is coming Friday.

All week long, the National Fireworks Association is hosting its annual trade show at the Hyatt Regency Wichita.

To cap off the week, the association is planning a grand public display in Andover’s Central Park on Friday night showcasing the latest and greatest in fireworks technology.

The fireworks will start at 8 p.m. Friday.

The show is expected to be more than 20 minutes long.

Admission to the show is $5 in advance at Andover City Hall, 1609 E. Central in Andover, or cash-only at the gate.

“It’s a huge show — Disney-style fireworks,” said Katie Cork, event director for the City of Andover. “It’s all choreographed to music. It’s nothing like anyone here has seen on a normal Kansas fireworks show.”

The general public has to park at nearby Andover Central High School and Andover Central Middle School, where shuttles will take people to the park. It’s a couple minute’s walk away from the park.

The $5 admission will be charged at the shuttle area or at the gate, according to organizers.

Before the show on Friday, Tommy Castro and the Painkillers will perform at the park’s Capitol Federal Amphitheater at 6 p.m. Admission to the concert is included in the $5 ticket price.

There will be no permanent seating at the amphitheater; people are expected to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

Every night this week from about 8 to 10 p.m., there will be firework demonstrations in Andover Central Park, though they won’t necessarily be choreographed shows.

“They’re geared more toward the vendors, but it’s still open to the public,” Cork said. “If you love fireworks, you love fireworks.”

The National Fireworks Association convention attracts fireworks dealers from across the country and overseas — it will likely draw more than 1,000 guests this year, said Nancy Blogin, its executive director.

A “large delegation” of fireworks professionals from China are in Wichita for the convention, because “probably 90 percent of our fireworks come from China,” Blogin said.

“Many people here cannot make the trip to China every year to see the products, so (the convention) affords them the opportunity to visit with fireworks dealers in China,” Blogin said.

The show planned for Friday night would likely cost over $200,000, according to the City of Andover.

The Friday show is a “thank you to the city that we’ve been keeping awake,” Blogin said.

“I got a little sneak peek of what they’re going to be shooting, and it sounds like it’s going to be a fabulous show for the public as well as our members,” she said.

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Wichita Eagle photographers Jaime Green and Travis Heying discuss and demonstrate how to successfully shoot good fireworks photos for the Fourth of July.