Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Business Booms for Okla. Fireworks Company

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Business Booms for Okla. Fireworks Company

Article excerpt

When a fireworks plant in China exploded recently, some fireworks distributors in the U.S. had to wait longer than usual for shipments.

In Carrier, about 10 miles west of Enid, Western Enterprises Inc. went on with business as usual.

While Western Enterprises obtains some of its fireworks from China, it makes most of its own.

The company puts on more than 600 fireworks shows annually in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and a few other states. More than half of those will be this week.

Gary Caimano, Western's director of marketing and choreographer of shows, said Western manufactures pyrotechnic fireworks and produces and choreographs shows for Independence Day, Christmas, New Year's Day and just about any other holiday celebrated by legions of citizens.

Western doesn't sell consumer fireworks to the general public. It makes a lot of them and blows them up for a price.

"The cost depends on the budget the customer has," Caimano said. "A Fourth of July show usually is anywhere from 15 minutes to 20 minutes. The largest shows in some of the bigger markets might go up to 30 minutes, but not often - we don't recommend it. Beyond 25 minutes is too long. That's a long time for fireworks."

Caimano said the price runs from $1,500 to $2,000 per minute. Municipalities pay up to $50,000 for a 25-minute show.

However, most do not last more than a few minutes.

"Christmas shows are very quick, up to eight minutes, because they are tree lightings," he said. "New Year's Eve shows are usually up to 10 minutes because it's cold. You don't want to hold up people too long."

Many factors are considered, he said.

"It all depends on the venue, the event, the sponsor and what it wants," Caimano said. "We do 100 percent of the production. It's everything from the proposal to the insurance to the actual crew, products and execution of the show and security - everything."

Western Enterprises has about 30 full-time employees, but to put on so many shows, it has to hire out. …

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