2016 Convention - Gerry Gits Challenge - Fireflies

In the past the Gerry Gits challenge was often defined in a sentence or two. To widen the window of creativity and to make the challenge attemptable by many more participants, the challenge title was reduced to one or two words. The 2016 Gerry Gits challenge is "Fireflies".

"Firefly" is an exciting effect which is also known as transformation, or transition, or charcoal-aluminum. It appears in the sky as a star or comet with persistent twinkling pinpoints of light, changing color from a dull charcoal-orange to a bright silver. It mimics the flashes which might be emanated from a swarm of the winged beetles called Photuris lucicrescens (i.e. fireflies). Aerial shells bursting with firefly stars produce a sparkling mist which arches through the sky and seems to last forever. Some define firefly firework stars as ones which specifically [produce] a charcoal hanging effect with a delayed cloud of blinking lights. Others say the overall appearance [of their burning] is a persistent orange-carbon tail effect that transitions to give rise to a delicate silver (white) rain effect.

For more information, please refer to Kosanke, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Pyrotechnics and Related Topics (available from Skylighters), p.444.


The PGI competition team lost a very special member on Christmas Eve, 2007 with the passing of Chief Judge Gerry Gits. To honor Gerry's manifold contributions to the PGI competitions over the years as competitor, judge, and most recently chief judge, the judges have decided to rename the Judges Challenge competition as the Gerry Gits Challenge, and the prize to be the Gerry Gits Memorial Trophy.

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