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Fireworks vet runs show at G-Braves event

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File Photo In this file photo, fireworks explode at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville. As a traveling pyrotechnics coordinator, John Feigert has been bringing his show to Coolray Field since it opened in 2009.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- When he talks pyrotechnics, John Feigert's speech slows down, his tone matching the inflection of a chef explaining the ingredients that make up a fine meal.

From crackling chrysanthemums and falling leaves to whistling comets and patriotic star shells, Feigert's canvas is the velvet black sky.

For more than three decades, he's honed an affinity for flash powder, a connoisseur of shimmering skyfire.

As a traveling pyrotechnics coordinator, Feigert has been bringing his show to Coolray Field since it opened in 2009. Long before that, he was the fireworks man for the Richmond Braves.

A fan favorite with a knack for crowd pleasing, Gwinnett Braves staff wouldn't dream of having anyone else for the annual Fourth of July fireworks show, a nearly 20-minute epic of explosive proportions.

"We have a good relationship with John (Feigert)," said G-Braves Operations Manager Ryan Stoltenberg. "Our fireworks shows are unique, and he understands what we're trying to do."

Following Friday night's 7:05 game against the Durham Bulls at Coolray Field, Feigert gets to continue the tradition.

"At the Gwinnett Braves show, we aim to use fireworks that will go with the music or the tempo," Feigert said. He added that the light and sound exhibition consists, basically, of a music computer and a fireworks computer, which "talk to each other."

Feigert said Friday night's crowd "is going to see a show choreographed to patriotic music, with an extremely large variety of fireworks or shells."

He has done a lot of work with the Gwinnett Braves and Richmond Braves over the years, but he got his start in the business in 1978 as a sales manager for a fireworks management company. Prior to that, he said he "was enthralled with fireworks, like any kid."

His resume includes Stone Mountain, Lenox Square and the Atlanta Braves fireworks shows.

Over the years, he's learned that the key to a good show is "variety of product. That's so essential. You have to keep providing new things for people to see and keep the shooting tempo fast. If the tempo is too slow, people will be bored and unhappy."

In the end, he said, the crackles, whistles and booms are rewarding because fireworks "create oohs and ahhs, and they put smiles on people's faces."

For more information about Friday night's G-Braves game against Durham, visit www.gwinnettbraves.com. The fireworks show is set to begin shortly after the game.