Philly ringing in the new year with fireworks over the Delaware

KYW Staff
December 31, 2019 - 4:21 pm
New Year's Eve fireworks along the Delaware River.

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Wednesday was a busy day for crews at the Navy Yard who made their final checks on the barges that carried the explosives for the fireworks shows along the Delaware River. 

Before the two 100-foot barges moved into position along the Delaware River, crews at the Navy Yard connected a spaghetti string of wires to hundreds of tubes that will fire off the fireworks. 

Most are designed to explode hundreds of feet into the air, but there are also some called nauticals that will fire up from the River's surface. 

Technician Andrew Clemick of the New Castle, Pennsylvania firm Pyrotecnico says each colorful explosive is carefully prescripted to coordinate with the music.

"Every shell out here has a wire that goes into a computer system that has an individual address to it. So when the computer is ready for it to call out during the show at a certain time during the music, the computer can just call it out to that module and it'll launch that specific effect," Clemick explained. 

WATCHING THE FIREWORKS 

For the last eight years, Neil Letcavage and his family have made a pilgrimage from Perkasie, Bucks County, to Penn's Landing to enjoy the festivities.

"We come and we skate. It's awesome, it's great down here. There's food, there's stuff to drink, stuff to eat. It's just a great time," he said. 

His daughter Mckenzie was in awe at the 6 p.m. fireworks display that erupted right over her head.

"I like the big bangs and the purple fireworks," she said. 

But not everybody watched the fireworks on land. 

Capt. Ray, who has manned the Ben Franklin Yacht for the last seven years, cruises on the Delaware River every New Year's Eve to watch the fireworks. 

"Coming up behind the barge and sitting in the middle of the river watching it, it's a front row seat, it's beautiful," he said. 

On the yacht this year was Brett Davis, who brought his family on the aitch to get a front row seat of the show and says he couldn't have asked for a better way to spend his first time seeing the fireworks in Philadelphia. 

"We brought out the family and some good friends to celebrate with," Davis said. 

That soundtrack can be heard on KYW Newsradio. The 12-minute shows are different: The theme of the 6 p.m. show is "Fun and Games." The midnight show's theme is "Down by the River."

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KYW Newsradio's Justin Udo and Mike DeNardo contributed to this report.