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Lucy Lawless Event - Stadium of Fire News & Mulitmedia sub site

The Daily Herald
29 April 2005


Officials order explosion of 250,000 firecrackers

Stadium of Fire organizers lit 250,000 firecrackers in south Provo Thursday in a test required to get permission to set off a million-plus of the explosives at the July 2 celebration.

The minute-and-20-second-long series of explosions numbed the ears of dozens of Osmond family members, event organizers, firefighters and media present at the test.

Using a crane, the firecrackers were suspended more than 100 feet in the air, across a 50-foot steel beam. Lit from the bottom using a long electric fuse, the flames slowly ate their way to the top in a shower of sparkling explosions, drifting red tissue paper and a wall of smoke.

Several cars driving on State Road 75 seemed startled by the sudden display.

Both Provo and BYU fire marshals demanded the test when they heard event organizers were planning to light more than 1 million firecrackers from a crane outside the stadium during the Stadium of Fire celebration on July 2. The crane will hoist the explosives over the edge and inside the stadium.

A similar stunt in 1989 turned into a "mushroom cloud" of fire, apparently because the fireworks were packed too closely together, said organizer Taylor Macdonald.

"I don't believe a test was conducted then and that is why we want to do it now," he said.

Thursday's test, in which the firecrackers went off in succession rather than en masse, was a success, he said.

"This was cool!" said Alan Osmond, who lit the firecrackers Thursday after asking the crowd to twice shout "Stadium of Fire!" while he waved a flare with a broad grin. Osmond, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, walked with a cane.

"It brought back a lot of good memories from when we did it the first time," he said.

Stadium of Fire will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, and the million-firecracker display has been added to the show to honor Osmond, who founded the show.

"The anniversary means that we are still having a good time here in Utah," Osmond said.

In addition, Stadium of Fire will present award-winning composer and conductor Kurt Bestor and the Stadium of Fire Orchestra performing Bestor's original arrangement "Music of America," which has been commissioned specifically for the silver anniversary celebration.

The 30-minute suite will be accompanied by choreographed fireworks and the nearly 1,000 Stadium of Fire dancers.

The American Fork Marching Band and the 4,000-voice Hope of America Children's Chorus, comprising children from all over Utah Valley, will also perform.

Osmond invited the public to send him ideas for future shows at

Caleb Warnock can be reached at 344-2543 or

Stadium of Fire producers announced Thursday that Debbie Reynolds, Lou Diamond Phillips and Lucy Lawless will join actress and singer Mandy Moore and Lonestar, one of country music's most popular groups, in headlining this year's event.

Moore's appearance was finalized two weeks ago. Lonestar's appearance was announced in March.

"We are pulling out all the stops for our 25th anniversary," said Brad Pelo, trustee of America's Freedom Foundation.

Debbie Reynolds is the legendary singing and dancing star of such movie classics as "Singin' in the Rain," considered by many critics to be the best musical of all time, "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," for which she was nominated for the Academy Award, and "Tammy and the Bachelor." She has been seen in recent years in "These Old Broads" and in guest appearances on top-rated sitcoms. Her work in preserving Hollywood memorabilia has drawn much praise.

One of filmdom's busiest actors, Lou Diamond Phillips is also noted for his singing, having starred on Broadway in the Tony-nominated revival of "The King and I." He has also starred in 56 films including ""La Bamba," "Stand and Deliver," and more recently "Murder at the Presidio," and "Hollywood Homicide." His television appearances are numerous, and he is also a noted film director.

New Zealand-born superstar Lucy Lawless is best known in America as the star of television's "Xena the Warrior Princess," but her recent turns in "Locusts" won her plaudits from critics and the general public. She has also appeared recently in "Euro Trips," "Spiderman," and "Tarzan."

Tickets can be purchased online starting at 12:01 a.m. April 9 at

Organizers said the show has sold out for the past three years.

Tickets can also be ordered by phone at 422-BYU1.