On Saturday, Brisbane’s night sky will light up in a fireworks extravaganza, as part of Riverfire. On Thursday, army helicopters went through their paces, in low-level flybys across the city.

Madison Scott reports.


Preparations for Riverfire 2016 have begun with a buzz, as four choppers rehearsed on Thursday afternoon.

The army’s Tigers and Taipans made their way over from Oakey to the Brisbane River.

You can catch them on Saturday at 3:30pm and 5:30pm.

As Brisbane awaits the upcoming sky spectacular, behind the scenes work is firing.

From six months of groundwork on logistics to the actual construction, the 25-person crew at Foti Fireworks are nearing showtime.

And they don’t call them pyrotechnics for nothing, safety is a must.

On these six barges alone there’s 21,000 explosives and more than 13,000 metres of cable ready to go off with a bang this Saturday night.

It’s a mix of chemistry …

Fortunato Foti, Creative Director: “Making fireworks we probably use about 50 different chemicals just to make the different colours.”

And physics …

Fortunato Foti, Creative Director: “There’s what we would class as fire time, that allows the firework to reach it’s pinnacle before going off.”

It’s a passion that’s run in the Foti family for seven generations.

The shape, colour and size are all designed to a T, throwing in music to entertain.

Fortunato Foti, Creative Director: “It’s very labour-intensive, it’s something that’s passed down from generation to generation.”

Showtime is 7pm.

Madison Scott, QUT News.