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IPA Pres. Chuck Yedlik receives congratulations from last year's team trophy winner, Wisconsin.

The best minute so far in the history of Vinton-area fireworks took place Friday, in Mason City.

Scott Anderson of rural Brandon received the Grand Master trophy, honoring him as the best individual fireworks maker among all of those who entered the Pyrotechnics Guild International competition last week.

While Scott’s friends, neighbors and colleagues from the Iowa Pyrotechnic Association (IPA) were still applauding, they heard the announcer declare that the IPA had won the Team Trophy for the first time in several years.

“It’s been a great day,” Anderson said hours later, as he helped set up the fireworks for the Star Spangled Banner presentation. Winning in a year that had more competitors and nearly 1,000 separate fireworks shells entered made earning the Grand Master Trophy even more special, he said.

“Scott has worked very hard. He deserves it,” said IPA member Jerry Dixon.

For years, the IPA and the rest of the state clubs and fireworks associations have been trying to catch up to the Wisconsin Pyrotechnics Art Guild (WPAG) which has won most of the team trophies for the past several years. This year, the IPA finally did it, winning by four points over the WPAG. IPA President Chuck Yedlik of Vinton, who also won several individual honors, accepted the trophy on behalf of the Iowa pyros.

The PGI Convention wrapped up on Saturday; next year it will take place in Gillette, Wyo. It returns to Mason City every five years or so.

IPA members now have less than two weeks to prepare for the Vinton Boomtown event, which takes place Aug. 29-30. For Yedlik and his staff, however, August is a very busy month. They did the Urbana Sweet Corn Days fireworks the weekend before the PGI Convention. Next Sunday, Aug. 24, they will set up and light the fireworks for the rain-delayed Party in the Park finale. The following weekend is Boomtown; the Bar-Y Pyros then travel to Marion for a show there the following week-end.

Below are the names of the area fireworks builders, and the events in which they placed first, second or third. The PGI only counts the top three places towards its team trophy.

Scott Anderson

Ground Level 2, 1st place

Best Miniature Shell, 3rd place

Best Medium Rocket, 3rd place

Best Small Comet, 2nd place

Rocket Level 3 , 1st place

Best Small Rocket Motor, 2nd place

Best Large Gerb (fireworks fountain), 1st place

Jeanne Peiffer:

Best Small Shell, 2nd place

Best Miniature Shell, 2nd place

Aerial Level 2, 3rd place

Bill Fratzke

Best Medium Large Ball Shell, 3rd place

Best Large Ball Shell, 3rd place

Best Unlimited Comet, 1st place

James Breitbach

Best Large Ball Shell, 1st place

Rocket Level 4, 1st place

Charles Yedlik

Aerial Level 3, 1st place

Best Medium Ball Shell, 2nd place

Best Medium Large Ball Shell, 1st place

Randy Krough

Best Small Shell, 1st place

Mick Layden

Best Unlimited Class C Display, 1st place

Peiffer helped make the hearts for Anderson’s first place ground level display. She also leads the Junior IPA members in their annual Boomtown display. Krough is a long-time Bar-Y fireworks team member. Layden, of Decorah, worked with several Vinton area pyrotechnics on his winning display.



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Comments (1)

Congratulations, Pyros! We are so fortunate to have your group consider Vinton as your home. Looking forward to Boomtown!!
By: Don Eells on August 18th 3:34pm

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