Madman Pyromania

Madman Pyromania

Madman Pyromania is a private fireworks display performed by the Miller City Madman every 4th of July weekend along the East Reservoir at Portage Lakes, Ohio

The Beginning

The Miller City Madman had a vast interest in fire and explosives since early childhood. It has been rumored that his hand was almost lost at the age of 16 when a Roman Candle exploded during ignition.

Madman Pyromania officially began in 2004. Early roots trace as far back as 1999 with a display in Miller City, OH and in 2002 & 2003 when fireworks were supplied by other members of the annual celebration and displayed by the Miller City Madman himself at the lake. These displays featured minimal mortar blasts and no repeaters were used. Usually the display occured after a night at the bars on the lake.

Madman Pyromania I

The first installment took place on the night of July 3 2004. This was the first display financed and performed by the Miller City Madman. The display consisted mostly of reconfigured bottle rockets and whistlers with individual firecrackers rigged to them for a multiple effect. The largest portion of the display consisted of approximately 12 mortar rounds. What was unique about this display was that there was no finale or set list. The display actually was not even finished by the Miller City Madman, but by his accomplice. This was the only display supplied by Springfield Fireworks in Bluffton, OH.

Madman Pyromania II

Madman Pyromania II took place the night of July 2 2005. This was the first display to use a platform designed by the Miller City Madman. The platform was designed to release the fireworks at an angle, causing them to break in mid-air over the water. This technology was in its infancy for this display but was the precursor to much bigger displays in the future. Larger, single-shot mortars were introduced in this display, which two were used. This was also the first time, though primitive, that a set list was used. Approximately 24 reloadable mortar shells were included, with many of them rigged together to be discharged at the same time. Music was introduced for this display also, with a classical music station playing in the background. This was the first display to be supplied by Phantom Fireworks of Kirkersville, OH. Every display since has used this supplier. No accomplice was used.

Madman Pyromania III

Arguably the most influencial installment of this series took place the night of July 1 2006. A uniform set list, official soundtrack, repeaters, and a grand finale were introduced in this installment. The same lone platform from Madman Pyromania II was used, though items had to be removed and replaced during the show due to the larger volume of fireworks than previous years. An accomplice was used for this display. The performance was hand-lit with torches for the first time. The opening sequence featured multiple fountains, small repeaters, and mortars. The official first repeater used for a Madman Pyromania display was the Machine Gun Shell. The signature piece was the Pyrotechnic Motherlode. Two of each were used. The sheer volume of this display was like nothing ever seen before on this lake. Four single-shot mortar shells were used as well as over 40 reloadable shells. Two 300 shot Saturn Missile Bases were used as well. The grand finale featured each of the repeaters, two single shots, and multiple reloadable shells, totaling over 40 shots at once. The inaugural Madman Pyromania Soundtrack opened with Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. That was follow by Rick Derringer's Real American, a song more popularly known as the theme song for professional wrestler Hulk Hogan. This song would become a staple in all Madman Pyromania Soundtracks. Also featured on the soundtrack were Hash Pipe by Weezer , Mr. Brightside by The Killers, and Up in Here by DMX. This was also the first installment to be recorded on video, however it was recorded via cell phone camera, resulting in a very low quality resolution.

Madman Pyromania IV

Due to the success of Madman Pyromania III, the franchise continued to grow exponentially. Madman Pyromania IV was showcased like none other. The volume of fireworks was nearly tripled. Two new retractable platforms were constructed. These made transportation and planning much easier. The event occured the night of August 31 2007. Especially challenging for this show was that no accomplice was used. Included in the display were seven repeaters, 15 large and 15 small single-shot mortar shells and 73 reloadable shells. The original platform was completly destroyed during the performance due to the force of the large shells being shot off it. As a result, several single-shot mortars were not used.

The opening sequence featured two multicolor barrages, a small repeater, and five mortar blasts. It was clear to all in attendence that something special was taking place. The performance featured 30 different sets, each a mixture of all the type of fireworks mentioned. The Grand Finale featured two large repeaters, the New Yorker and Da Bomb, as well as 14 other shells. The audience was left in awe at the conclusion. The signature moment of the event occured at the midway point of the display. A 21-shot salute was performed in honor of a former US soldier who had passed away earlier in the year. For the only time in Madman Pyromania history, the music ceased and the audience was instructed to remain silent during the salute. Madman Pyromania IV was the first to be widely acknowledged by the surrounding East Reservoir residents and was roundly regarded as a rousing success.

Featured Repeaters

Da Bomb - 9 shots

Guns of Navaronne - 12 shots

Cirque de Pyrotechnique - 20 shots

New Yorker - 36 shots

X-7 - 7 shots

Madman Pyromania IV Soundtrack

"Ba Ba Booey Star Wars Theme" - The Howard Stern Show

"Real American" - Rick Derringer

"Holiday" - Green Day

"Helena" - My Chemical Romance

"Saturday in the Park" - Chicago

Madman Pyromania V

In regards to quantity and quality, Madman Pyromania reached it's pinnacle in 2007. Madman Pyromania V took place the night of July 4 2008. Word had spread throughout the East Reservoir and a new challenge was introduced for the Miller City Madman. As the show was about to begin, multiple displays were popping up around the lake. In previous years, Madman Pyromania was the only display in the area. The result was what was described as "dueling fireworks". This "competition" was decisively won by the Miller City Madman in regards to magnitude, quality, and length, but clearly the future will prove to be an even bigger test of pyrotechnic skill. This was also the first private show for the Miller City Madman as a state certified pyrotechnic. Madman Pyromania V was focused more on repeaters. Z-cakes were introduced and widely popular in this display, most noticably with the Strategic Air Defense. The display featured 14 repeaters, including Z-cakes, 12 single-shot shells, and 51 reloadable shells. There were 28 sets in total. The opening set included the Z-cake Blue Brocade, 4 small repeaters ignited simultaneously, and one double break 500 gram shell. The Strategic Air Defense was the mid-finale. For the Grand Finale, the Florescent Rack, Crown Brocade, Pyro Pulverizer , 3 Silver Salutes, Double Red, and a Times Square were set off in succession for an incredible display of synchronization. The audience made it clear at the finish who indeed had the best show along the East Reservoir.

Featured Repeaters

Aerial Avalanche - 25 shots

Bada Bing - 19 shots

Crown Brocade - 30 shots

Strategic Air Defense - Z-cake

Molten Core - 16 shots

Pulverizer - 33 shots

Fortress of Fire - 16 shots

Vertical Velocity - 30 shots

Wizard of Ahhs - Z-cake

Blue Brocade - Z-cake

Mass Detonation - 19 shots

Florecent Rack - 9 500 gram shots

Madman Pyromania V Soundtrack

"Diary of a Madman" - Ozzy Osborne

"Live and Let Die" - Paul McCartney

"Welcome to the Black Parade" - My Chemical Romance

"Real American" - Rick Derringer

"4th of July" - Shooter Jennings

"Jumping in the lake"

For several years, at the conclusion of Madman Pyromania, the Miller City Madman would jump into the lake. This tradition was ceased in 2008. No specific reason was given for the tradition being stopped.

Moving Forward

Madman Pyromania VI is tenatively scheduled to take place July 4 2009. Numerous formats have been discussed, but nothing official has been revealed.

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