Return of fireworks sets harbour alight
Kyle Swan wanted to go “big and all out” for the first Bermuda fireworks show in five years.
He says spectators attending the Boat Parade in Hamilton Harbour told him he achieved his goal.
Now Mr Swan, a pyrotechnician who runs Swan Pyrotechnics, says he wants to do more.
“We were so happy to finally get this show off the ground. There was a lot of enthusiasm from children who’d never seen fireworks before this. Some people even said it was Disney-quality.”
Mr Swan was speaking after the Christmas Boat Parade drew hundreds of spectators and ended with an eight-minute fireworks display from White’s Island in Hamilton Harbour.
The fireworks show was the first on the islan since 2017 after Dek Froud, the previous fireworks operator, retired with no one to fill his shoes.
Mr Swan said his crew, made up of ten Bermudians, spent three days setting up the boat parade display and another two days breaking it down.
He said he and his wife and co-worker, Jennifer, trained the crew on how to operate the mechanisms that fired the fireworks, which he said was safer than physical triggers.
Mr Swan added that he thought it was important to train other Bermudians in pyrotechnics and special effects to help fill an entertainment niche in Bermuda.
He said: “It’s got to be a Bermudian to fill a very specific void and bringing these crafts back — it’s not something that myself or Jennifer can do on our own.
“It’s very important that we recognise that there’s an economy here for fireworks and special effects.”
Mr Swan added: “Tourists are relying on us to put on a show that they can’t see anywhere else.
“They have to have a reason to visit us more often, otherwise what’s the point.
“Bermuda has the capability to be featured in New Year’s displays around the world — we just have to take the full advantage.”
Mr Swan, a Bermudian who lives and operates his business in New Mexico in the US, completed his “lead shooter” qualification in 2019 to qualify as a fireworks expert.
The former firefighter made plans to return to his homeland to rekindle the fireworks scene in 2020, but Covid-19 halted plans until this year.