Released December 29 2016

Ring in the New Year with the SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront 



PHILADELPHIA, PA (December 28, 2016) – Since 1991, Philadelphia has celebrated the New Year with a huge fireworks display over the Delaware River Waterfront. For the last 7 years, residents and visitors have had a chance to enjoy two fireworks shows, and will do so again this year thanks to the continued support of SugarHouse Casino. The SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront will be THE place to ring in the New Year with TWO awe-inspiring fireworks shows synchronized to musical soundtracks at 6PM and Midnight. The spectacular fireworks shows will be launched from barges in the middle of the Delaware River with clear views along the Philadelphia waterfront from SugarHouse Casino down to Penn’s Landing, with each location broadcasting the soundtracks from large speakers. Those at home can watch the 6PM fireworks broadcast live during the NBC10 newscast or through a live stream on For the Midnight show, NBC10 will host a Facebook Live event to capture the festivities and fireworks. Those watching the fireworks nearby can hear both soundtracks on KYW Newsradio, 1060AM.



Fireworks Loaded Onto Barges (times are approximate)

Thursday, December 29, 2016, 1PM – 3:30PM

Friday, December 30, 2016, 9AM – 3:30PM

Saturday, December 31, 2016, 9AM – 1PM

Shells loaded onto barges at the Navy Yard at River Services

To gain access to the site, please contact Ken Furstoss from Pyrotecnico at 724-510-6221 (cell)

New Year’s Eve Equipment Load-In

New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31, 2016

8AM -- Equipment Load-In Begins at Penn’s Landing

4PM – Sound Check



Each of the two SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront shows are synchronized to different soundtracks which are played live on KYW Newsradio. The 6PM show, titled “An Epic New Year,” features musical selections from legendary movie soundtracks written by John Williams, including E.T. the Extraterrestrial, Gone with the Wind, The Towering Inferno, Star Wars, and more. The viewer/listener will be taken on a powerful journey that will evoke feelings of both nostalgia and excitement, perfect sentiments for the eve of a new year.



The soundtrack to ring in the New Year, “Celebrate the Human Spirit,” is a collection of high-energy, popular songs from well-known artists such as Katy Perry, Beyonce, Pitbull, Tiesto, and Zedd. The music speaks to the tumultuous past year by showcasing a variety of inspiring themes around the triumph of the human spirit during difficult times. The variations in the soundtrack’s speed create a marvelous story, not only in the music but through the use of a wide variety of pyrotechnic effects and designs.

“The magic of two spectacular soundtracks help bring to life the choreographed fireworks shows,” said Todd Marcocci of Under The Sun Productions. “The powerful soundtracks make for an audio and visual feast for the soul.”



The displays use over 4,500 devices, representing four tons of net explosives, and approximately five miles of wire and cable. It will take three days for the crew of 10 to set-up the two displays at the barges located at River Services in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The largest shells are 10 inches, shoot 1000 feet in the air, and explode with a diameter of almost 600 feet, making these fireworks the biggest in the city. More large shells will be used this year to create an even more spectacular show that can be seen near and far. Overall, the fireworks shows have more than 12,000 different special effects.



After the soundtrack is finalized and before any shells are pulled from Pyrotecnico’s extensive inventory of products, a computer roadmap is designed using a program called Show Director that arranges the choreographed synchronization.  Using SMPTE time codes, this program uses a graphical display along with music via WAV files and a time source code creating the sequence of firing for the display.  The program will automatically back time firing cues to adjust for the time it takes for the device to reach its apex for pinpoint accuracy.  It will take approximately 75 hours to design and choreograph each display for December 31, 2016. 



GPS Clocks that use Global Positioning Satellites synchronized with the world clock in Colorado coordinate the pyrotechnics with KYW Newsradio 1060 and NBC10/Telemundo62.  These GPS clocks are the same technology used in radio and television to coordinate the start of programming, so everyone will be in sync. The Pyrodigital Computer Firing System is the tool of choice for Pyrotecnico, as they’ve used it in their most prestigious displays – PyroFest, GlobalFest, and Welcome America.  



Amplifying excitement and creating emotional connections between the audience and displays is the main focus of Pyrotecnico. One of the largest producers of fireworks, special effects, and lasers in America, Pyrotecnico has produced premiere fireworks displays throughout Philadelphia, including shows for Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, Welcome America, Army/Navy game and Temple University Football, and provides all of the pyrotechnic effects for the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies home games. Internationally, Pyrotecnico has produced displays in Canada, China, Antigua, St. Croix, the Cayman Islands, Vietnam, and South Korea.  

Tradition, creativity, innovation, and technology are the ingredients that have set Pyrotecnico apart from other fireworks manufacturers for years.  The tradition began in 1889 when Constantino Vitale founded the Vitale Fireworks Manufacturing Company in a small village near Naples, Italy.  The company later moved to the United States and incorporated in 1922 in New Castle, PA, the “Fireworks Capitol of America.”  Renamed Pyrotecnico in 1992, the company is run by the fourth generation of the Vitale Family, Stephen Vitale, a graduate of Duquesne University.

By being on the forefront of the use of cutting edge technology and surrounding themselves with imaginative individuals, Pyrotecnico has gained a major foothold in the event producing, special effects, and laser industries. 2012 was the first year Pyrotecnico held their now annual, “PyroFest – America’s Largest Fireworks Festival” in Pittsburgh (their headquarters’ “back yard”), in which they aim to hold in multiple cities within the U.S. in years to come. Also, as they have gained more ground with their flames, pyrotechnics, lasers, and custom effects, Pyrotecnico has branched off with Pyrotecnico FX – a full service special effects and laser display production company. Learn more about PyroFest and Pyrotecnico FX, by visiting their websites at and

Rocco Vitale, Creative Director, designs the SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront displays, choreographing them to the soundtracks. As a Vitale, Rocco started his career with fireworks, special effects, and lasers at an early age. Currently based out of Pyrotecnico FX’s facility in Addison, TX, he not only designs all of Pyrotecnico’s larger, and choreographed, fireworks displays, but also oversees all creative aspects of Pyrotecnico FX – ensuring each display is as unique as the event in which they’re featured.



Enjoy the sights and sounds of the SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks from multiple locations on the Philadelphia waterfronts and throughout the region including: SugarHouse Casino, Penn’s Landing, Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, Race Street Pier, Battleship New Jersey, Independence Seaport Museum, Moshulu, Spirit of Philadelphia, Hilton Philadelphia Penn’s Landing, Dave and Busters, and more.

The 6PM fireworks will be broadcast live during the NBC10 newscast and streamed live on For the Midnight show, NBC10 will host a Facebook Live event to capture the festivities and fireworks.

Thanks to a collaboration between Visit Philadelphia, NBC10/Telemundo62, SugarHouse Casino, DRWC, Verifone Media, A2a MEDIA, Brickstone Realty, Kimmel Center, PPA/Taxi and Limousine Division, and Brandywine Realty Trust, Philadelphia’s SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront at Midnight will be streamed on screens all over town. These include:

  • Verifone screens in 1,400 taxis
  • The Lit Brothers Building
  • The Kimmel Center
  • The PECO Building crown lights will share with information about the Fireworks Show
  • The Piazza at Schmidt’s in Northern Liberties

New screen additions this year:

  • XFINITY Live! will broadcast the fireworks on several of their large screens at their NYE celebration
  • The Electric Factory will broadcast the fireworks on all 18 of their large screens at their venue for the attendees of their NYE celebration
  • TV's in Philadelphia hotel rooms via the VATv hotel channel        

Visit Philadelphia, one of the official sponsors of the SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront, has created a hub for all information about enjoying these shows at This includes a guide for where to watch the SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront, and how to celebrate and spend the weekend.



The New Year’s Eve Party on Ice from 5-8PM is ideal for families and for those who have other commitments later in the evening, while the 10PM-1AM party caters to those who want to ring in the New Year out on the town. Enjoy delicious light refreshments, pay-as-you-go beer, cocktails and champagne, music, face painting, party favors, and of course, spectacular fireworks shows at 6PM and Midnight.

WHEN: December 31 from 5-8PM or 10PM-1AM

WHERE: Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest. 101 S. Columbus Blvd. (Market Street at Columbus Blvd)

TICKETS: Skater tickets ($40 per person) and Spectator Tickets ($30 per person) as well as parking can be purchased online at Skating tickets are currently SOLD OUT.



The Ben Franklin Bridge lighting is pre-programmed to display from dusk through 2am on New Year's Eve during the SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront and the rest of the holiday weekend. The static color display will be the rainbow to signify Hope in the New Year.



Extended Holiday Hours (Through January 2)

Monday through Sunday: 11AM-1AM


Note special hours on December 31:

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest will be open from 10AM. Visitors can enjoy the rink from 10-11:30AM, 12-1:30PM, or 2-3:30PM before the Parties on Ice begin at 5PM.


Contact Information

Phone: 215-925-RINK



Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Facebook, Twitter, Instagram



Photos can be found in our Press Room. Please contact for password to download. If you’re looking for a particular theme or format of an image not found in the Press Room, please email


Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Sponsors

Winter Programming sponsored by Independence Blue Cross, Visit PhiladelphiaCoca Cola Refreshments-Philadelphia, NBC10 and Telemundo62, PNC, PECO, and Philadelphia Magazine.


Fireworks Sponsors

Presenting sponsor SugarHouse Casino, Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, Visit Philadelphia, NBC10 and Telemundo62, KYW Newsradio, and the City of Philadelphia.

About SugarHouse Casino

SugarHouse, which opened in September 2010 as Philly’s casino, features 1,891 slots, 103 table games, a 28-table poker room, fun and unique dining options, riverfront views and free on-site parking. The casino employs approximately 1,700 people, and for six consecutive years has been voted a “Best Place to Work” by the Philadelphia Business Journal, and for five straight years a “Top Workplace” from For more information, visit

About Independence Blue Cross

Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurance organization in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve nearly 10 million people in 24 states and the District of Columbia, including 2.5 million in the region. For nearly 80 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more, visit Connect with us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

DRWC is a 501(c)(3) created in January 2009, exclusively for the benefit of the City of Philadelphia and its citizens. The fundamental purpose of DRWC is to design, develop, program and maintain public amenities such as permanent and seasonal parks, trails, and streetscape improvements to transform the waterfront into a vibrant destination for recreational, cultural, and commercial activities for the residents and visitors of Philadelphia as is consistent with the goals of the Master Plan for the Central Delaware. Daily programming throughout the entire year is changing the way Philadelphians see and converse about the waterfront, and is helping to create spaces and communities that connect residents and visitors to the waterfront.    




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