It's not the Fourth of July without fireworks

Fireworks explode during the annual Fourth of July celebration at Meadowlake Park in this file photo. (Bonnie Vculek / Enid News & Eagle)

ENID, Okla. — Most people agree it’s not the Fourth of July without fireworks, but how is it done?

First, the fireworks need to be made. Then, the show needs to be choreographed to music. Finally, the fireworks need to be timed perfectly with Enid Symphony Orchestra, said Gary Caimano, director of marketing and choreographer for Western Enterprises.

Caimano said Western Enterprises is an family owned business from Carrier. The local company has put on the fireworks display for years.

“I’ve been here 20 years and never had to do anything. Never been a mishap, but we always have a crew, just in case,” said Kevin Winters, assistant fire marshal with Enid Fire Department. Winters said Western Enterprises takes care of everything.

This year, the city is paying $15,000 on the firework display, said Steve Kime, director of public relations for the city of Enid.

“You’re looking at the dark sky and the fireworks, but in the back, you’re hearing all the patriotic songs,” said Kime. “It’s very mom, apple pie and the American way.”

Julie Heckman, executive director of American Pyrotechnics Association, told NPR that about 70 percent of professional display fireworks used in Independence Day celebrations are manufactured in China.

Caimano said that Western Enterprises makes its own fireworks.

“We have a lot of history, and we’re proud to do it because we’re here we’re local,” Camino said. He said company President James Burnett choreographed this year's show to the orchestral music.

Caimano said the company gets the products they use to make the fireworks from various places in the U.S.

Caimano said the Enid firework display is particularly special because Burnett designed it, his son is setting it up, and his daughter is vice president of the company.

“In a live show, the orchestra is actually playing music, so the score of music is where the queues go and when the assistant conductor gives the queue, the fireworks are shot live,” Caimano said.

Director of the Enid Symphony Douglas Newell said the orchestra got its music two weeks before Independance Day and had only one rehearsal with everyone to make it perfect.

“It’s a great day,” Newell said, “one I look forward to every year.”

The Fourth of July concert will feature Enid Symphony Orchestra, directed by Newell and Assistant Conductor Kaleb Benda.

The program will start at 8:30 p.m. and is sponsored by Security National Bank of Enid, Oklahoma Arts Council and Park Avenue thrift.

Newell said there is a rehearsal available for those who cannot make it to the park at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Enid Symphony Center.

Featured music will include songs from the Beatles, the broadway hit “Hamilton” and patriotic songs like “Oklahoma!”

If attending the 4 p.m. rehearsal, Newell said applause is great, but quiet is good for focusing during the songs.

"It's just not the Fourth of July without fireworks," said Kime. 

The Fire Department said that fireworks are illegal in Enid City Limits. Winters said it is best to leave fireworks to the professionals. But if you have to shoot fireworks, do it on private property, with permission from the owner, outside of city limits, Winters said. 

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Guevara is an intern reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. She can be reached at bguevara@enidnews.com.

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