Why I joined the PGI and never miss a Convention
Tom Handel, member since 1995
Simply put, there is no other single experience on earth that will give you the opportunity - in one place and in the space of one week - to get a taste of the full spectrum of the pyrotechnic rainbow.
Professional displays are just one small part of it - though an important one. There is manufacturing - a place to learn from helpful experts about building almost any imaginable type of pyrotechnic device.
There is the world of consumer fireworks - for sale at bargain prices to all members with a safe range to shoot them on if that's your thing. A trade show, supplies vending, art show, collectibles show.
Open shooting for all members of both 1.3G and 1.4G fireworks, commercial and hobbyist-made.
Seminars galore, most free to members or for very low cost, on diverse topics from display choreography, to pyrotechnic chemistry, to how to pursue your pyrotechnics passions legally, to pyro safety (safety, safety and more safety), to tutored hands-on construction of pyrotechnic devices (e.g., rockets or shells), to indoor and proximate pyro, and on and on.
What's more, in today's world and in consideration of all that you get for it, it is a bargain. Membership is $100 to join then - if you decide to stay - $70/yr to renew next year, and Convention registration for a full week of this madness is $195 before June 1 and $210 after June 1.
Your membership comes with ~5 issues per year of the PGI Bulletin, our house organ, with all sorts of good stuff in it to keep your appetite whetted in the off months. :-)
Personal story, short version. In 1995, my lead shooter (I was crew) for the Annapolis, MD 4th of July barge show gave me a spiel not too different from the above and said I should join the Guild; I did. The next year he talked me into coming to convention, which, in 1996, was in Muskegon, Michigan. After that, I never looked back. This year's
convention in Gillette, Wyoming will be my 23rd in a row - I haven't missed one. As long as I'm able, I won't.
If you enjoy fireworks, it is an incomparable hoot. Hope to see you there.