July 10, 2013 - By Meg Peters
Review Staff Writer
Three-year-old Luca Aldrich of Lake Orion had never seen fireworks until this Independence Day, as 'starbursts' popped and crackled in the sky, their blue edges dripping like fire into the lake.
He didn't notice a few minute delay in the midst of ogling.
"They were loud." Luca said, "A lot of color in it."
Even with a little delay in the middle of the show, Carl Cyrowski, Luca's Grandpa and President of the Lake Orion Fireworks Association, said it was one of the best the Lake Orion community has seen.
"You're sitting there just mesmerized, watching the thing 35 to 40 minutes, and about 20 minutes in we get a break, so how about that," he said.
The pause was due to a double-decker pontoon boat with their lights off that cruised up to the barges within 50 feet of the explosions.
A water-cake firework shell almost landed in their pontoon boat, Cyrowski said.
A designer for the show, Mike Mahan, said he was going to find the boat owner and make sure he wasn't on the lake for next years display.
"If they would have been another minute or so, the shells would have landed in their boat, it was that close, and we had to emergency stop the show," he said.
"Boom, boom boom they went off. We saw the boat, and we started screaming and yelling to the police who raced to the boat. They ruined my whole show," Mahan said.
The delay caused some observers to think the show was over and some complained about it at that time. But once it started again everyone was satisfied.
Mahan and Ace Pyro of Manchester directed the performance, and even with the slight delay in the middle, Cyrowski still thinks it was a Lake Orion favorite. He said people on other lakes, like Long Lake, were able to see it with the grand finale stretching about a mile into the air.
"It was actually like two grand finales back to back," Cyrwoski said.
An Ace Pyro computer program ran the show, which was set up well ahead of time with different choreography and options for the rounds. It had to be emergency stopped for the darkened pontoon to back away from the barge.
Four barges were lashed together as the platform for the explosions.
Cyrwoski is already scheming new ideas for next year's show. One of them is building a four-in-one barge, or more simply, a huge barge for launching off.
"I'm going to try and get some volunteers over the winter and put it together. Once it's easier to set up then we can have some experimentation with bigger rounds," he said.
Chief Jerry Narsh estimated around 25,000 people in the Lake Orion area Thursday night.
Cyrwoski is still counting on selling more raffle tickets for the LOFA raffle this Saturday, July 13, at 5:00 p.m. over at the Lake Orion Police Department for the donation-based show.
Tickets are $20 each, and can be purchased at the Lake Orion Hollywood Market, Christies Bar and Grill, Pugh's Party Store, Orion Market, Sagebrush Cantina, CJ's Restaurant, Hamlin Pub, Abacus Accounting, Oxford Bank, Lake Orion Powerhouse Gym, and Chief Financial Credit Union on Brown Rd.