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Onboard Floating Barges Tasked With Executing July 4th Fireworks

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David Sutta joined the CBS4 news team in April of 2007. As S...
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MIAMI (CBS4) – Next to the Miami Seaquarium, Gary Avins is getting to light up the sky.

“This is the busiest day of the year.  It’s like Christmas in July,” said Avins, with Firepower Displays Unlimited

Avins, a 30 year veteran pyro, will be setting off some 40 firework shows across South Florida and Tampa on July 4th.  This former beekeeper is passionate about fireworks, especially those grand finales.

“3,000 shots,” proclaimed Avins.

“In a period of?” asked CBS4’s David Sutta.

“In about one and half minutes.  It’s just like fire erupting on the barge.  Yes, if you are up close and personal it looks pretty impressive,” said Avins

“Why do you do this?” asked Sutta.

“I love it.  The adrenaline rush.  And I’ve enjoyed fireworks since I was a little kid,”  said Avins.

Avins designs not just the show, but the fireworks.  He’s perfected the process of barges and mortars. Gone are matches or lighters.  Everything is fired electronically and wirelessly.  He’ll run the entire thing from his laptop.

“We can be on the balcony of a hotel,” said Avins. “We can be sitting on the beach.”

Avins even has some contingency plans in case Mother Nature has other plans for the night. The fireworks are covered by tin foil until the big show.

“We can have a deluge, for an hour, and then typical tropical weather it moves on and we shoot the show,” said Avins.

Avins said his favorite show is Bayfront Park.  He always showcases a new invention or concept,and  Thursday night should not disappoint.

“This year we are doing what’s called water effects.  And waterfall effects.  So I have stuff going off both on the water and coming down to the water,” said Avins. “No one has ever seen anything like this before down here.”

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