It’s not likely that you’ll ever get to swim under the sea with Ariel and Sebastian or fight dastardly ghosts and ghouls with Captain Jack Sparrow alongside the other Pirates of the Caribbean, but with his explosive sights and sounds, Jon Loreto is trying to get you one step closer.
The Lancaster County resident is the inaugural winner of the “Fantasy in the Sky” Fireworks Challenge, a contest with more than 50 pyro-enthused applicants.
All contenders were to create a computer simulated fireworks show set to family friendly music. The winner of the contest gets the pleasure of seeing and hearing their hard work come to life at Hartwood Acres this Memorial Day weekend at Pyro Fest: America’s Largest Fireworks Festival.
Loreto, who has been working with fireworks since he was 18, said he had little experience with the computer program and learned as he went along.
Loreto thinks it’s the constant action of his spectacle that set his show apart and made the judges take notice.
“I just thought mine was a more complete show,” Loreto said. “It was constant the whole time. Every song that it went through, there was constant stuff going on the whole time.”
Creating a 10-minute fireworks show is no easy task, Loreto said. Writing one minute of the show meant two or more hours of work.
Loreto’s interest in fireworks began at a carnival when he was just 4 years old, but he traces everything back to Disney World.
Since first viewing the fireworks display at the “Happiest Place on Earth” at age 14, Loreto has gone back to Disney World 14 times in the past 14 years, even getting married there under the illumination of the exploding pyrotechnics.
Loreto said this competition was a rare chance to incorporate his love of everything Disney into a professional fireworks show.
“This is the only opportunity I might have in my whole life to shoot a show like this — to design a show with Disney music,” he said.
Loreto’s show will be taking songs from some of Disney’s most iconic films like “The Little Mermaid,” “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast”.