TROY —The city of Troy’s Fourth of July fireworks show stayed on schedule and a local family is in charge of launching the lights in the sky tonight.
Troy Police Department Officer Chris Madigan, and his older brother Mark, a retired state highway patrolman from Lewisburg, have traveled around Ohio during the patriotic holidays. The brothers and their families and friends puts on fireworks shows at the Columbus Crew stadium, Cleveland Indians Jacob’s Field, Lake Erie shows, Cleveland Browns stadium, Cincinnati’s Riverfest as well as local hometown fireworks with the Hudson-based American Fireworks Company.
It was Mark who first got the family involved with the fireworks hobby back in high school, helping the Troy Jaycees and the fire department put on the local show before it was handed over to professional firework vendors.
This year, American Fireworks Company landed the city of Troy’s three-year contract, bringing the Madigans back to their hometown for its show. The city of Troy, Troy Foundation and Concord Township share the cost of the $30,000 show each year for locals and their families to enjoy.
“It’ll be a very good show. There will be a lot of shells in the air throughout the whole show,” said Chris, adding it’ll be very similar to the Riverfest shows along the Ohio River.
Mark said the show will be packed with a variety of fireworks as fast as the crew can reload the shells.
“There will be a lot of product in the air,” Mark said. “We were excited to get back here in Troy.”
Wearing their “Pyro Crew” T-shirts, Chris shared how he followed in his big brother’s footsteps both in hobby and law enforcement career.
“If Mark did it, I did it, too,” Chris said. The middle brother Nick is also in law enforcement near Columbus.
With many communities opting out of Fourth of July celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic, Troy and Tipp City are two of only a few communities who kept their firework shows as planned in Miami County. Other cities have postponed their events for later on in the summer with hopes of social distancing guidelines being relaxed to hold their own firework displays.
Madigans said the Troy show will be approximately 20-25 minutes and will be both electronically fired as well as hand-lit using flares. The rockets red glare will be fired from the levee area near the Miami Shores Golf Course, the site of the fireworks launches for several years. The Madigans reminisced about when the show used to be launched from Troy Memorial Stadium. Chris’ son Alex, a 9-1-1- dispatcher in Montgomery County and family friend Austin Eidemiller also help set up and launch the fireworks shows. Mark gets his family involved as well, including his wife Rita, son Luke and now his grandchildren, making three generations of Madigans who help create holiday memories for the communities and crowds to enjoy.
“It’s still a family deal,” Mark said. “We just love to do it and we get the kids to help and now the grandkids help – it’s a family thing.”
Where’s the best place to watch the Troy fireworks? Austin said he would watch on a kayak on the Great Miami River if he wasn’t helping with the show. The Madigans said they always had the best view from their mother Evelyn’s home on Staunton Road when they weren’t on the road doing the shows themselves.
Since they’ll be on the ground loading shells, the Madigans won’t be able to view their hard work. Yet, working as a family to put on a great show is what the Madigans enjoy — as well as the thrill of the bombs bursting in air overhead.
“It’s a pure adrenaline rush. You can’t beat the high of hand-firing the shells – it’s awesome,” Alex said.
Tonight, Treasure Island will have food trucks and the band Direct Energy around 8 p.m. The annual fireworks display will start at approximately 10 p.m. North Market Street will be closed from Water Street to Staunton Road beginning at 9 p.m. The bike path will be closed east from the Senior Citizens Center and at Rutherford Drive.