The best conditions for fireworks are a light breeze, a black sky, little humidity and no rain, according to Kris Lindberg, project manager for Zambelli Fireworks.
"It needs to be dark," Lindberg said.
Zambelli Fireworks will be shooting fireworks for Frederick's Fourth of July celebration, one of many happening around the region to celebrate Independence Day.
Westminster will also be holding a celebration, starting at noon, at the Carroll County Farm Museum. The festivities will include an old-fashioned picnic, mule-drawn wagon rides and tours of the museum.
"It's just a big Carroll County Picnic," said Dottie Freeman, of the farm museum.
Westminster fireworks will start at 9:30, but people start to find their seats around 7 p.m., Freeman said.
The Kiwanis Club of Westminster, which provides the fireworks, will collect a $5 parking fee after 5 p.m.
Frederick's Fourth will be from noon-9:30 p.m. with the fireworks starting at 9 p.m. The event will be at Baker Park, but there will also be viewing areas at the swimming pool on Fleming Avenue and Frederick High School's lawn, according to the event's website.
The Frederick show recently moved the shoot off location to Parkway Elementary School, which opened up more viewing area in Baker Park, Jenn Martin, marketing coordinator, said.
The new location is more convenient for viewers and will offer a better presentation, Lindberg said.
For the Fourth of July fireworks show, Lindberg will use red, white and his favorite color, blue, fireworks and ones that make lots of noise. One firework he could use is a titanium salute, which makes a large bang.
But he also mixes in other colors so the show will not be boring, he said.
Lindberg uses a combination of standard fireworks, such as chrysanthemums, and special fireworks, like smiley faces, he said.
People like to see the fun ones, Lindberg said.
Lindberg will design shows with fast releases for the fireworks. With fast shows, people lose track of time and think the show is longer than the actual time, he said. Fast shows are also more entertaining, Lindberg said.
"People want their senses overwhelmed," Lindberg said.
Lindberg will also use bigger fireworks, which are more intense, he said.
But for the pyrotechnician of 21 years, the best part about fireworks is shooting them off, he said.
"If you're an adrenaline junkie, it's the ultimate place to be," Lindberg said.
Fireworks can be shot off in person or electronically. For the Frederick show, the company will shoot them off electronically to help control their speed, Lindberg said.
Fourth of July shows can also be choreographed to music, which means the firework shells need to be released three or four seconds early so that they open on the right cue, Zambelli said.
One of these shows happens on July 3 and 4 every year at Oregon Ridge in Cockeysville, with fireworks shot off during a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert.
The BSO begins playing around 8 p.m. The set list will include patriotic and Broadway style songs this year, BSO Public Relations intern Sam Lindemann said.
At the end of their concert, the BSO will play the "1812 Overture" while fireworks are shot off. The firework directors are responsible for setting music cues and releasing fireworks correctly, spokeswoman Laura Farmer said.
Playing with fireworks means it is difficult for the band members to hear themselves, but they have the piece memorized, principal trumpet player Andrew Balio said.
"We can't [hear ourselves], but we know our parts," he said.
Balio has been a member of the BSO for 12 years. He enjoys showing up for work and playing good music, he said.
His favorites include songs by John Williams, a composer know for his movie scores, including "Star Wars" and the 1978 "Superman" film.
During the Fourth of July, Balio likes to have a picnic with his family and friends and with lots of good food, he said. He leaves his picnic area at Oregon Ridge about 10 minutes before the show starts to get ready, Balio said.
"It's a blast," he said. "It's literally a blast."