4th of July fireworks provide perfect end to celebration

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photo by Mike Wilson | (L to R) Ken Wilkinson, Carol Hochstrasser, Kendra Wilkinson, Jill Wilkinson, and Tom Van Groningen . Not pictured: Andrew Wilkinson, Galen Wilkinson and Ben Mathis. Keep this crew in mind if you ever have the chance to recommend them to perform a professional show.
photo by Mike Wilson | (L to R) Ken Wilkinson, Carol Hochstrasser, Kendra Wilkinson, Jill Wilkinson, and Tom Van Groningen . Not pictured: Andrew Wilkinson, Galen Wilkinson and Ben Mathis. Keep this crew in mind if you ever have the chance to recommend them to perform a professional show.

Ken Wilkinson, of Fire in the Sky, completed his 19th year of “firing up the cliffs.” He originally began helping with the fireworks display as a volunteer fireman and his passion eventually morphed into his Fire in the Sky business as the fire department chose to became less involved.

Unlike most shows who save their biggest firework for the last, Wilkinson begins his nearly 20-minute show with the biggest commercial shot available, the 16 inch. The show began shortly before 10 p.m. with the attention-getting firework.
This year his choreographed finale was larger than what Wilkinson normally used. “My finale was new this year with all the red, white and blue and using all that space. It was more active and energetic,” said Wilkinson of improvements in technology that allowed him to use 500 feet of cliff space. “This was the first year I did a grand finale this big.”

The choreographed show is a mixture of aerial shells, which are shot higher in the air, and shot boxes which shoot quickly and can vary in size from 25 to 600 shots.
Wilkinson also adds a special touch with his firebombs and keeps the crowd guessing with their burst of flame.

“I am always trying to tweak my show and hide a few surprises in the show,” said Wilkinson who is already planning next year’s show.

Fire in the Sky also contracts to do the Town of Granby’s fireworks and his business relies mostly on his family and close friends.

Wilkinson’s family did both firework locations and included Wilkinson’s immediate family, mother-in-law, brother and nephews.

photo by Mike Wilson | Ken Wilkinson's fire bombs offer a surprise for onlookers.
photo by Mike Wilson | Ken Wilkinson’s fire bombs offer a surprise for onlookers.

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