Gateway Fireworks preparing for 4th of July display at POWERplex Freedom Fest

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ST. LOUIS – John Weiter is proud of his small St. Louis business, for 28 years his Gateway Fireworks have provided ooh’s and ah’s at places like the Muny and Busch stadium.

“I would describe us as being well versed in the entertainment industry in the use of pyrotechnics and fireworks,” said John Weiter, President Gateway Fireworks Displays.

“It’s a choreographed script,” said Kevin Paglusch, Vice President Operations Gateway Fireworks Displays.  “We take the music and choreograph the shells to the music.”

Gateway Fireworks Displays handcrafts each show, from the projectile to the height, diameter, color, and kind.

A unique live experience that’s meticulously thought out and planned and performed.

“Everything has been canceled,” said Weiter.  “We’re the providers of fireworks at the St. Louis Cardinals which has been canceled and pyrotechnics at the Muny which has been canceled.  And at many concert venues in the St. Louis area.  And all the theaters in Chicago have all been canceled.”

But with the pandemic hitting the bottom line, this company that’s perfected fireworks shows are thankful for a few displays in Sauget, Illinois at GCS Ballpark with the Gateway Grizzlies Friday and Saturday.

And the POWERplex Freedom Fest at Drive-In St. Louis with fireworks show set for Saturday, July 4th.

“These are mortar racks, so each of these tubes gets reloaded for each show and gets a shell inside of it that is electronically fired to a time that goes off in the program,” said Thomas Dunsworth, Special Operations Director Gateway Fireworks Displays.

Employees are excited for Saturday’s Fourth of July fireworks display at Drive-In STL, at the POWERplex in Hazelwood.

“Yeah that’s one of biggest shows I’m excited about, I get to work that show,” said Kelly Kankolenski, Pyrotechnic Assistant.  “I know it’s going to be a really big show which is a lot of work so that’s good.  But it’s a great workout too, so I’m not mad about that.”

“Fireworks is an absolute refreshment to the soul,” said Weiter.  “It inspires people.  It pleases people.  It entertains in a way that no other medium can do.”

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