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International Fireworks Championship returns after explosive inaugural event

TRAVERSE CITY — After an incredibly successful inaugural fireworks competition last year, organizers of the International Fireworks Championship said there will be an additional night and more teams competing in this year’s event.

The fireworks competition will take place Friday, Sept. 6, and Saturday, Sept. 7 at Turtle Creek Stadium in Traverse City. The show will feature pyrotechnic teams from Australia, the United Kingdom, India, the Philippines, Finland and the U.S.

Tickets for both nights go on sale Tuesday, May 14 at 11 a.m. at 1,000 seats will be designated as two-night show ticket packages. Prices per night are $50 for box seats, $70 for field seats, tables for four are $500 and suites range from $1,000 to $2,500.


“We’ll have professional judges, and also we have the audience judge as well. So each night will be judged, and then the two nights will be combined to pick an overall winner,” said Traverse City tourism president Trevor Tkach. “It’s very unique in the United States. These types of competitions happen all over the world. So this was a leap of faith. But certainly the public embraced it early on. And so that’s why we’ve try to make it even bigger and better for 2024.”

The teams are invited to compete if they have won other competitions from around the world. They have 15 minutes to stage their performance and are judged on design, synchronization to music, and the overall experience of their show. Best of Show awards will be given on both nights through votes by attendees. In addition, a group of pyrotechnic experts will present a juried award based on the teams’ performances for both nights of the event.

Teams this year include:

Foti Family Fireworks of Australia, which is most widely known for producing the New Year’s Eve display in Sydney Harbor.


Selstar Fireworks from the United Kingdom, has participated in multiple fireworks championships and won in Monaco, Lebanon, and other locations.

Morani Fireworks from India, which presented at the Cricket World Cup and has displayed at musical performances with Justin Beiber and Coldplay.

Blue Peacock from the Philippines performed for the King of Thailand, the Manilla New Year’s Eve celebration, and won the Casino du Lac-Leamy Sound of Light Show in Ottawa, Canada.

JoHo Pyro Professionals from Finland won competitions in Montreal, Cannes, and DaNang.


Pyro Shows, based out of Texas, has performed around the world and conducted the 4th of July fireworks at the Washington Monument – featured on the PBS television show “A Capitol Fourth” - 13 times.

Fireworks competitions are rare in the U.S., but more common in Europe and other parts of the world. Each team is required to follow specific guidelines that challenge their creativity and artistic ability.

The teams say they are already deep into planning their shows. “The Traverse City International Fireworks Competition provides an even playing field as all competitors are working to the same criteria and even from the same pool of fireworks,” said Robert Foti, from the Australian team. “This allows us to experiment with design and soundtrack ideas. We can’t wait to see what everyone will do and can’t wait to display our show to the people of Traverse City.”

Sponsors included GFL Environmental, Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel, Ebels General Store, truenorth stores, 4Front Credit Union, The Carrithers Family, Fox Grand Traverse, OnCore AV, Blast! Events and TVC Airport. The show is organized by Traverse City Tourism.

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