THE FULL CREW
Meet the Makers
This serial tech-savvy pyro pledges his allegiance to a lifestyle that literally oozes with living, breathing blasts of “holy cow!”
Dan Haines | Columbia, MO
Most summer jobs involve flipping burgers or cutting grass, but that wasn’t the case with Dan. His first summer job straight out of high school involved working for an international award-winning fireworks display company. It was an eye-opening experience to be surrounded by extremely talented show designers, operators and true pioneers in the fireworks display industry. His biggest takeaway: shooting fireworks is an artistic endeavor. He enjoyed the ride so much that he stayed in the industry after completing his education in business management and information technology.
Dan is a product manager for Spirit of ’76 (www.76proline.com) and its customized ’76 Pro Line brand designed for professional shooters, choreographers and display companies. Prior to this gig, Dan spent four years in the U.S. Airforce working on avionics technology for fighter aircrafts. He said this way-cool experience (our words, not his) helped pave the seamless path to his current job because fireworks and electronics technology go hand in hand.
Dan’s 2020 Show
Shhh. It’s a secret. Dan did share that he has an amazing selection of fireworks right at his fingertips from Spirit of ’76 (which warehouses the largest selection of 1.4g pro fireworks in the USA) plus 1.3g products from Stellar Fireworks in Wichita, Kan. His team will mix and mingle the two types for his 10 to 15 minute show that will showcase $10,000 worth of fireworks product. Hours to design: 40 to 50. Crew to assemble: 10 to 15 people for two days of prep. End result: spine-chilling results and breathless gasps for the Sky Wars audience.
Dan’s Advice for Aspiring Pyros
“Reach out to a local display company to be an apprentice for one of their shows. You can also join a local club (Dan is a member of both the Missouri Pyrotechnics Association and the Kansas City Area Pyrotechnicians) to get some hands on shooting.”