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Firework waterfalls – how are they created?

A cascading waterfall of sparks and colours is one of the most mesmerising fireworks effects you’ll ever see. For some people, it’s even more impressive than a massive rocket exploding high in the sky. But how are waterfall firework effects actually created?

The first thing to note is that this effect is one best left to the experts. Products offering a cascade effect are available to buy for home displays, but a full waterfall takes experience, skill and the right equipment to get it set up right – and safely.

But for fireworks fans, here’s how a waterfall is made…

What waterfall fireworks look like

The waterfall effect is created when many shells are fired at exactly the same time and angle. They feature heavy, long-burning tailed stars that only travel a very short distance before they start to fall to the ground. This is what creates the waterfall effect, as the tails of the shell start to free-fall and arc gracefully towards the ground.

You’ll see individual fireworks – often called horsetail effect fireworks – used in displays. They create beautiful shapes as the shell arcs and starts to fall, leaving a trail of stars in the sky. However, it’s when they’re used in large numbers and close together that a waterfall effect is created.

‘Hanging’ a waterfall effect

What makes waterfall fireworks so incredibly effective is the way they are ‘hung’ from some sort of structure. Display organisers often use bridges, walls or other built structures for waterfall effects, particularly for special occasions like New Year’s Eve.

It’s also possible to construct your own hanging arrangement using specialist materials, so you can start your waterfall from anywhere. For example, you may want to hang your waterfall construction over a sports field ready for a big game, or to create a backdrop for a festival. There are lots of different create ways you can use waterfall effects, they all require quite a bit of planning but it’s always well worth it.

What kinds of fireworks are used in a waterfall?

In most waterfall displays, the organiser will choose a very slow burning fountain-type firework. This is fired upside-down from an elevated position, creating bright sparks which fall just like a waterfall.

A lot of careful planning has to be done to create just the right effect, and the composition of the firework has to be just right so that the tail of stars arcs and falls in just the right place. Many experts will create their own composition of fireworks to get the effect spot on, depending on the site and type of waterfall. Of course, this is not safe to do yourself and only suitable for the experts.

Love the idea of a waterfall at your next big event?

Contact the 1st Galaxy team to start planning – they’ve created jaw-dropping waterfalls in all kinds of colours for weddings, corporate events, birthdays and other celebrations. Call us on 0115 8559000 or contact us online to discuss your event.

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