Fireworks plans looking bright

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 29, 2003

What better way to kick off the New Year than with a bang? Sonja Godwin, spokesperson and secretary for the Andalusia Department of Leisure Services said the New Years' Eve celebration, which will be held at the Kiwanis Fair Grounds in Andalusia, will be explosive, and this year the department is introducing a new fireworks display that starts at 6:30 p.m.

"We'll be getting more bang for our buck," Godwin said.

Dwight Mikel, director of the department, announced at a previous city council meeting a switch from the long-time used fireworks company to a new one.

"In the years past, we've used Zambelli, but Pyrotecnico (the new company) had more to offer," said Godwin.

According to Godwin, both companies are based out of Newcastle, Penn., but Pyrotecnico has a closer local branch.

"Pyrotecnico has a branch in Montgomery, and Zambelli's closest branch is in Boca Raton, Fla.," she said. "(The new company) is more convenient."

Godwin said the display for the new year won't be the first the department has seen.

"(Pyrotecnico) put on a very impressive display at the Babe Ruth tournament (held past summer)," she said.

The variety of fireworks will be quite a spectacle, and will even last longer than previous displays, said Godwin.

"There will be 53-inch color changing star-shells encased in titanium," she said. "There will also be 55-inch multi-color shells.

"Their display is going to be longer, approximately 15 minutes as opposed to the previous 10-minute display," she continued. "The Grand Finale will also be longer."

Godwin said the switch in companies is simply more economically feasible and visually pleasing, and she added the event will also be pleasing to the ears.

"We'll have the band playing that was on the (TV shows) The View Dec. 10th, Regis and Kelley Dec. 11th, Jay Leno (The Tonight Show) Dec. 12th, and The Wayne Brady Show Dec. 17th," she said. "They will also be playing on the David Letterman Show Jan. 8th."

The band Godwin is referring to is Keith Williams and the 2nd Nature Band, which will strike-up at 5:30 p.m. The band has been touring with American Idol winner Reuben Studdard, she added.

"The band (Keith Williams Productions) is out of Tuscaloosa, and they will be playing a variety of Motown, funk, and slow songs (for the audience)."

Godwin said the variety of songs the band will play includes "Brick House," "Mustang Sally," and "Just My Imagination," to name a few.

For children, four inflatable apparatuses - possibly "bounce houses" - will be at the event, said Godwin.

"We get them at minimal pricing," she added.

Concessions will be sold at the event, but no alcoholic beverages will be sold, according to Godwin.

The gates to the celebration will open at 4:30 p.m., and Godwin said everyone should come along and bring a friend.

"Everyone is encouraged to come and bring someone with you," she said. "It is our wish that you and yours have a safe and prosperous New Year."