How Long Do Fireworks Usually Last

The duration and budget for your display are intrinsically linked. In our opinion, longer does not always mean better.A wedding firework display would typically last between 6 and 15 minutes.


For a public or corporate display, we would recommend the display duration to be between 18 and 22 minutes. This duration is proven to keep the attention of the audience throughout the entire display by delivering a high impact, non-stop barrage of colour and sound.Most of the worlds largest firework displays such as London’s New Year Celebrations only last 11-12 minutes!


When purchasing fireworks, one of the first steps to take is to look at the boxes for any type of information on expirations. Expiration dates are usually listed and purchasing anything that’s expired is never recommended. These products may not work their best, and they may be more dangerous to use. To avoid this, always buy products from a reputable company and ensure that they are entirely safe to use. By taking these steps, you’ll minimise the risk of problems later. But, what about that box of fireworks that are in your garage from last year? Can you still use them?

How Long Will They Last?

If you purchase fireworks and do not use them, there are a few things to keep in mind when considering whether or not they are safe to use.


Are they expired: If you purchased them last year, chances are good they are still in good condition. To make sure, check for an expiration date. This date will tell you how old the fireworks are in the first place. It’s always best for you to use only un-expired products, of course.


Where are they stored: Next important for how long fireworks last is how the fireworks have been saved. It is essential to keep them in a cool location throughout the year. There should be minimal if any exposure to moisture. This can make the product hard to use if not impossible. The dry, cold store is essential.


What is their condition: Next, consider the actual state of the fireworks. It is best to avoid using any that have damage to the exterior of the box or container. Damage to the lighting area is also a warning sign. If the box is not in good condition, it could be troublesome to use them, or it could mean the interior materials are no longer safe to use.


How old are they: Generally, fireworks can last several years. In some cases, they can remain safe and effective for up to eight years. However, this varies significantly from one type of product to the next. Ultimately, use fireworks as soon as possible and avoid storing them.


Are you unsure if you should still use older fireworks? It’s a good idea to call the supplier, distributor, or the manufacturer for more specific information about the products you have. Since this can vary significantly from one manufacturer and type of product to the next, it pays to take precautions in this way.


The good news is that the chemicals in fireworks do not decompose very quickly or at all in many cases. And, they will not react on their own. So, as long as you provide a stable environment and there are limited amounts of humidity present, most fireworks will last a long time. Of course, whenever you are using fireworks, it is essential to ensure they are in the best condition possible and that you use them according to the manufacturer’s specific instructions. This can make a big difference in your safety and satisfaction. Visit to find everything you need.


What’s The Ideal Length Of A Fireworks Display? 

As firework display organisers, it’s a question we’re often asked. The answer depends on the event you are organising. If it’s for Bonfire Night, there are different factors to take into account than say for wedding fireworks or a corporate event. Firework displays around November 5 are typically public events put on by the local council or fund-raisers staged by charities like Round Table and Rotary. The one thing they have in common is that fireworks are usually the only entertainment. When people pay to see a fireworks display, they reasonably expect to be entertained for a period of time. Determining precisely what that period of time is a matter of judgment.


Firework displays can be so big and spectacular that audiences lose all sense of time when watching them. That’s how it should be. If you catch yourself wondering how much longer it’s going to go on for, you’ve lost interest! For Bonfire Night, we recommend a duration of between 15 and 20 minutes. It’s long enough to make your audience feel they’ve been given good value but not so long that they think it’s being dragged out.


You’ve been volunteered for your neighbourhood/campground Canada Day/Independence Day/Bastille Day firework show, and while you’ve fired the odd firework in the past, you want to put on a good show…but you’re not sure how. As the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy so aptly states: Don’t panic!


There are a few Instructables that purport to show you how to make fireworks, but few that actually show you how to design a good firework show. So let me tell you how I go about creating my presentations. We will limit ourselves to using only consumer-grade fireworks. Display fireworks require all kinds of certifications that are well beyond the scope of this instructable.


Here in Canada, the consumer-grade firework selection is much slimmer than what is available in the USA. For example, salutes (loud bangs) are illegal. Reloadable tubes are also unlawful, and the maximum tube size available for launching is less than 2″, which limits the height of the show to about 120 feet. That doesn’t mean you can’t make a decent show with Canadian consumer fireworks, and it just means that we have to work a little harder than our American brethren. If you’re reading this from the US of A, then you have way more choices available, but the basic premise of this instructable still applies.


Ave you ever have seen a fireworks show? It’s the highlight of many Independence Day celebrations. Many other holidays also include a fireworks show. Fireworks light up the night sky with colourful explosions. The sights and sounds of a fireworks show can amaze your senses and lift your spirits.


Experts believe fireworks were invented in China over 1,000 years ago. Today, China is still the largest maker of fireworks in the world. Fireworks may seem like pure magic. But they’re actually pure science! All those different shapes and colours come about as a result of careful planning.


Most kids are familiar with two basic types of fireworks: firecrackers and sparklers. The science behind these two fireworks forms the basis for all other fireworks. Yes, even those spectacular fireworks displays you see in the sky (called aerial fireworks).


Firecrackers are rolled paper tubes filled with black powder (also called gunpowder). They might also be filled with flash paper and a fuse. When you light the wick of a firecracker, the fire burns along the fuse. Eventually, it reaches the powder. When it does, the firecracker explodes.


Sparklers are different. There’s no explosion. Instead, sparklers make bright, sparkly light for about a minute. The bright sparks you see are usually burning bits of dust. That dust is made of metals, such as aluminium, iron, steel, zinc, or magnesium.


Aerial fireworks are usually made as a shell that has four parts. The container consists of pasted paper. The fuse allows the tank to reach the desired altitude before exploding. A bursting charge made of black powder (like a firecracker) is at the centre of the shell. Stars (sparkler-like substances shaped into small spheres) are mixed throughout the inside of the tank.


These shells are usually launched into the sky from short pipes filled with a lifting charge of black powder. The lifting cost also lights the shell’s fuse, which burns as the round rises into the sky. When the flame along the fuse hits the bursting charge inside the tank, the grenade explodes. That’s when the magic begins!


The explosion ignites the stars. The stars burn to produce the bright sparks of light we see in the sky. The explosion pushes the stars in all directions, which creates beautiful displays.


Have you ever seen fireworks that seem to explode in different stages? Those fireworks use individual “multi-break” shells. You can think of them as shells within shells that are made to explode at different times.


Not all fireworks look the same. Some explode in a circle. Others look like a shower of sparks falling down toward the earth. A firework’s pattern depends on how the stars are arranged in the shell. Manufacturers can create an outline of a specific design with stars. Then, they surround those stars with a particular charge. That charge will separate them all at the same time from the shell.


It takes just as much science to create the beautiful colours we enjoy watching during fireworks shows. Most colours are produced by carefully mixing chemical compounds. Certain compounds make particular colours when they burn. For example, most yellow fireworks include a sodium compound. 


For firework displays at corporate events, weddings, festivals, and other celebrations, a different set of factors come into play. Here the fireworks are not the only entertainment. There may be a band or dinner or other movie leading up to the fireworks. In these situations, the fireworks are more like the icing on the cake, the grand finale or the exclamation mark on a celebration. They need to make an impact, to bear a message saying thanks for coming, now here’s something to send you home happy.


This can be achieved in a matter of a few minutes. Many of our most prominent displays often last no more than the length of a pop song. In fact, most of our professional fireworks displays are set to just one song or a fast-moving mix of three or four songs, none lasting more than a minute or so. Here we can capture the audience’s attention so totally that they have no idea how long the show continued. If asked, in many instances, they will say it lasted far longer than it actually did also, that it cost twice as much as it did!


This is a common question asked to the experts here at Ardent Fireworks. Each event is unique, so the length should really depend on what kind of event you are hosting and how long people will stay to watch.


If fireworks are the only entertainment, then people will expect the show to last a more extended period of time. An example of this can be Bonfire Night, where customers generally attend to see the fireworks and have some food and drinks. The display, in this case, will need to be a dramatic and exciting firework show. We recommend a ‘3 Minute Spectacular’ to start the event which involves mixed effects of comets, colour bursts, crackles, stars and bangs and a finale of 10 shots fired together. We recommend a 15-minute show to keep the audience engaged.


For weddings, events and celebrations, different aspects need to be taken into consideration. Fireworks are not the only source of entertainment and could just be the finale to the event. In this case, a stimulating, short display is needed to grab attention and close the game. We recommend a 3-4-minute show and a top finale finisher we’d choose is the ‘Viral Spiral’, nine banks of six huge spinning tails to bursts of green, red, blue-purple and silver. Comprising the majority of Small Town USA and Community Celebrations, these fireworks displays typically last from 10 to 20 minutes with a typical budget of $2,000 to $7,000.


It is that all-important question of how long your fireworks display should be is answered here! – This will depend on what kind of show you are doing, who it is for and how much you have budgeted for regarding the actual fireworks. The duration depends on the nature of the event as well. 3-4 minutes will generally be quite sufficient as the closing feature of a wedding or birthday celebration, whereas if the fireworks are the main feature of the event (as on Bonfire Night) then the display should be considerably longer.

Small Displays

We will start at the lower end of the scale with a back garden display. With these displays, they can range from a standard family display to a more massive private party. Generally, a small family display usually consists of a selection box of smaller fireworks containing fountains, roman candles, Catherine wheels and small rockets, and maybe a few other more massive multishot fireworks and a bigger pack of missiles, perhaps coming to between £50-£100. Small family displays are usually quite a relaxed affair with fireworks being let off intermittently and the designated firer choosing which firework to light next to or an intermission where food and drink are involved. In this case, you may expect this kind of firework display as a whole to last about half an hour to 45 minutes without continuous fireworks. A minimal show can last up to 10 minutes. Increasing your fireworks budget by $500 can double the length of a small fireworks show. It is best not to stretch a low budget too far, as the show will be too slow. Great shows should generally be no longer than about 30 minutes.


Medium Size Displays

If you are having a more extensive gathering or party with fireworks, it is generally a good idea to have a slightly more structured display with more impressive multishot fireworks and rockets. Assuming you have enough space in your garden. It is a good idea for this type of show to be a bit shorter, so everyone is not standing around for too long, especially if the weather is not too good. If you can, a duration of no longer than 10 minutes would be preferable. With a shorter display, this will probably be more beneficial to your neighbours and surroundings as well so that the noise won’t go on for as long. This noise factor can affect the elderly and animals, so if you do have older neighbours, neighbours with cats and dogs or you live near a farm with horses and livestock, a shorter display will benefit them in this case. As a side note, we recommend always notifying your neighbours or any farms near where you live about your upcoming show.


Large Displays

For more substantial and more organised displays which gather more massive crowds of 100+, it is a good idea for the show to last no more than 20 minutes, so you keep the audience interested. Anything longer than this and they may start to lose interest and not be as impressed. It is best to have a shorter, high-intensity display than one of longer duration over which the material is spread more thinly. The same goes for pyro musicals or exhibitions with music. Although a piece of music, or many pieces of music, dictates how long the show might be, it is a good idea to try and keep the show on the shorter side. The longest pyro musicals generally go on for a maximum of 30 minutes. Still, at the other end of the scale, you can have a high-intensity pryomusical consisting of just one short piece of music. Check out the video below for a more concise but high impact display.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the average firework show last?

In our opinion, longer does not always mean better. A wedding firework display would typically last between 6 and 15 minutes. For a public or corporate display, we would recommend the display duration to be between 18 and 22 minutes.

How long should a home fireworks show last?

A good fireworks show will last 10-20 minutes. It will seem longer. You can only keep someone’s emotions high for so long. Even the biggest fireworks shows only last 20 minutes.

How much does a 10 minute firework show cost?

According to Premier Pyrotechnics, a Missouri-based fireworks company, a typical small-town or community fireworks show lasting 10 to 20 minutes costs between $2,000 and $7,000.

How much does a 25 minute firework show cost?

These major fireworks events are quite spectacular and memorable. Fireworks Pyromusicals are usually computer fired from multiple locations, choreographed to music, and involve large numbers of fireworks. Main Events: $500 – $1,000 per minute. Main Event shows typically cost in the $7,000 to $20,000 range.

Do you take the paper off fireworks?

Do not remove the top safety paper from the firework as the product is designed to allow the fireworks to fire through the safety paper. Always light fireworks at arms length, and under no circumstances lean over a firework. Never go back to a firework if it fails to ignite.

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