The Western Pyrotechnics Association (WPA) is hosting its annual Do It Convention at Hawthorne Racecourse on Bonanza Road from September 20-25. During this period, fireworks will be shot in the air every evening from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weeknights and from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The WPA is an association of fireworks enthusiasts, enthusiasts and professionals who meet twice a year – in the early spring in Lake Havasu, Arizona, and in the fall in Hawthorne. The WPA was started in 1989 by a few fireworks enthusiasts who wanted to form a West Coast organization made up of a network of close friends who could share their love of pyrotechnics and run events that were both educational and entertaining.
Do It is a spin-off of a WPA event that was first held in 1998 in Laughlin, Nevada (then called Pow Wow). The event was aimed more at pyrotechnics enthusiasts and although there were not many attendees, those who did had a great time and the event grew in attendance and popularity in subsequent years. From what started as a handful of people, it’s now triple digits.
Do It is a crafting event that allows people to build fireworks all day and fire them late into the night. There are no seminars or public exhibitions, and limited vendors. Products B, BP and chems are available for pre-order only, and product C is available locally.
Products that can be pre-ordered include: Crackling Comet Tails, Dominators, Red Falling Leaves, Smiley Face with Crackling Pistils, Crossettes, Chrysanthemums, Peacock Grass, Jellyfish, Flash cat face photo and pyrotechnics. All pyrotechnic products must be fired on the spot.
Many pyrotechnic devices are made onsite by WPA members at the event, with the host hotel being one mile from the filming site (dry camping is free onsite). The Afterglow night event takes place in a dirt parking lot with a bonfire and lawn chairs.
Admission to the racetrack is restricted to WPA members, but the public is welcome to view the fireworks from Bonanza Road, the airport parking lot and other locations west of the hippodrome.
The convention finale (its members showcase) will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 24. Last year, about 150 people came to Hawthorne for this event, and the WPA expects comparable numbers for this year.