How much does patriotism…er…fireworks cost?


Working on a story about how the economy has affected cities’ ability to produce fireworks and Fourth of July celebration events.

In the process, I spoke with the president of fireworks company Pyro Spectacular, Jim Souza.

Jim said the average fireworks show starts at about $25,000 and goes up from there. At a place like the Rose Bowl’s Americafest in Pasadena, the cost can be as much as $200,000, Souza said.

(Souza said the Rose Bowl show is his favorite show to produce and his favorite firework is the Golden Eagle, which he described as being like a weeping willow that stretches nearly to the ground and lasts for about 12 seconds)

Pyro Spectacular does the fireworks for shows in Monterey Park, Whittier, Irwindale, Pomona, South Pasadena, Monrovia, and San Marino, among others, Souza said.

The average show has a 24 foot rent-a-truck full of a ton of hardware, several hundred pounds of fireworks, has mortars, launching equipment, and a crew of 8 to 12 people that work on one show all day.

Each show lasts about 20 minutes, with the exception of the larger shows, he said.

As for some cities, Pico Rivera is spending $25,000 on fireworks and Monterey Park is spending about $35,000 for weekend events.

More to come in tomorrow’s story.

Monterey Park Mayor to endorse Romero

Monterey Park Mayor Frank Venti announced he will endorse Gloria Romero in her run for Rep. Hilda Solis’ seat a day after former Mayor Judy Chu said she is vying for the same seat.

“No doubt in my mind Gloria Romero is the better candidate,” Venti said. “Not willing to allow such a precious seat to someone that I believe is a lightweight legislature.”

Chu is on the California Board of Equalization.

In 1988 she was elected to the city council of Monterey Park, where she served as mayor for three terms. She ran for the California State Assembly in 1994, but lost the Democratic primary to Diane Martinez; in 1998, she lost the primary to Gloria Romero.