Welcome to the official Florida Pyrotechnic Art’s Guild, Inc. (FPAG) website. We are a group of fireworks enthusiasts and professionals that practice and promote safety in fireworks, as well as safely building and displaying fireworks. Founded in 1991, our purpose, as stated in our club by-laws sums it up best:
“The purpose of the Guild shall be to promote and encourage safe, legal and artful pyrotechnic operation in Florida through training, demonstration and exchange of information.“
We meet monthly at various locations around the state to do just that: share information, demonstrate techniques and best practices, and to hang out with other pyrotechnic-minded people. Two meetings per year, one in the fall, and one in the spring, are family friendly festivals. Here you’ll find seminars offering just about anything within the pyro-realm including everything from display operator safety certification and basic show set up, to building rockets and multi-break shells. Of course there are always plenty of fireworks, both consumer and display class, displayed at those two festivals as well. Our class C vendors are some of the best, and always have incredible pricing for members.
If you’re interested in pyrotechnics, from watching, to shooting, to building, then we hope you will pursue joining our guild. We’re a varied mix of people from all walks of life that all share at least one important trait: a love of fireworks. You’re bound to find some great people and have fun doing it, and while you’re there, you may just see pyrotechnics that just can’t be seen anywhere else!
Waaaay back in the late 1900’s, it sounds so distant to say that doesn’t it? In 1991, a Pyrotechnics Guild International (PGI) member wondered if he could get together all of the members that live in Florida and have an active club full of fireworks fun. Based on a paper copy of a membership list from PGI, he began pulling together like minded Floridians to form a fireworks club. As it turned out, Florida had some amazing pyrotechnic talent to pull from. Soon after forming, in August of 1992 at the annual PGI Festival, FPAG got into the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest Pyrotechnically driven wheel ever created. Not bad for a group only a year in existence.
With all of the generous talent here in Florida, our members get to enjoy hand-built shows. It’s even more fun if you join in and help. Not to worry if you’re green, there’s plenty to do, and no shortage of people to show you how to do it safely and properly. Just a few of the shows FPAG has built include:
Early on, the club began providing the Opening Ceremony show for the Special Olympics Summer Games in Kissimmee which later moved to Tampa. FPAG was called back annually to do this event until the mid 00’s when Disney began hosting it (and providing the opening show). By then we were also doing an annual show for the kids at Camp Boggy Creek. Every July we head out to put on a show for seriously ill children. This is an introduction for many of our newest members to the world of commercial display set-up, but more importantly, the kids love it. Those kids have a pretty hard time of it, and we're all grateful to have the opportunity to make their summer that much better.
One of my favorite things about this club has been the willingness of many of its members to travel. In the decade before my baby was born, I put some miles on my passport for Pyro purposes. There were 14 of us in Malta one year. What a wonderful place, and we have members who know it front to back, and friends of the club who live there. Here you can see pyrotechnic spectacles like you’ve never imagined. They really are incredible pyro’s there. Many of our members make nearly annual pilgrimages to this Mediterranean Pyro Paradise. Mexico is another favorite destination. There is a small town north of Mexico City that produces most of Mexcio’s Pyrotechnics. It’s call Tultepec. Imagine those fine folks having a festival that centers around Pyro, and you have quite the experience. Many years, a large contingent of FPAG members head there to experience the hospitality of Raffa and insanity of Dancing with the bulls. Spain’s Valencian Festival has been on my wish-list for years, and we have a few members who know this parade of pyro decadence like a second home. Of course, staying within the continental 48 gives you road trips to PGI, which can also take you to some crazy places right here in our own back yard.
If you are interested in joining FPAG, please provide the information requested below. We will review your request and e-mail an application to you along with the locations of upcoming meetings. Dues for new members are $100 for the first calendar year and $50 for subsequent years. Dues are to be paid along with your application at your first meeting.