Grand fireworks display planned in Yukon capital
1,000 fireworks expected in one of the biggest show in city's history
Workers are busy setting up for one of the biggest fireworks' displays in Whitehorse's history Saturday night for the 50th anniversary of Sourdough Rendezvous festival.
On the cliffside above the downtown, a crew of technicians is setting up a series of fibreglass mortars, each aimed high at the sky over Whitehorse. On Saturday night they'll be used to launch about 1,000 fireworks.
The whole show will be choreographed in time to a medley of Led Zeppelin tunes performed by the All City Concert Band. It will be broadcast over a local radio station.
Fireworks technician Warren Zakus says this type of display takes months of planning.
"Fireworks that go on specific angles, that matches the different rhythms of the music, stuff that goes across the sky like that in time to the music, and things like that," said Zakus.
"One of the really popular effects that we do every year, and we're doing it even bigger this year, is we have these fountains that flow down the clay cliffs."
The set-up is elaborate, and painstakingly detailed. It is relying on technology usually reserved for major displays in much larger centres.
It's all being co-ordinated from a laptop computer set up in a canvas tent just a few metres from the launch site. The software allows the crew to design the display around the music, and time it to the hundredth of a second.
"We wanted to go all out for the 50th anniversary, and it's been hundreds of hours to design the show."
The centerpiece will be a glowing '50' to celebrate the festival's half-century mark.
This year's budget was about $15,000 for a 10-minute show, but the crew says it will be worth the extra effort.
The fireworks display is scheduled to begin at 8:20 p.m. Fire dancers will be performing at Shipyards Park at 8 p.m., immediately before the start of the show.