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PGI is led by an elected Board of Directors whose officers are active members of the organization. PGI’s board members are committed to PGI’s mission and are responsible for establishing and maintaining PGI’s vision.


Paul Smith, President

John Steinberg, First Vice President

Craig Hetherington, Second Vice President

Craig Foster, Vice President of Communications

Eddie Hostetter, Secretary-Treasurer


Have you always been fascinated by fireworks? The colors, the beauty, the science? Then welcome to the Pyrotechnics Guild International (PGI), an organization that is all about fireworks and the people that enjoy them.

The PGI was formed over 50 years ago by a small group of fireworks enthusiasts brought together by PGI founder Max P. Vander Horck. In the beginning, a few dozen members would meet and share information, techniques, and stories and then move to a field to display their pyrotechnic efforts. Today, the Guild boasts a membership of over 2,000 primary members, and our early humble gathering has evolved into a week-long annual convention attended by thousands. The PGI convention is a uniquely American event, where freedom is celebrated with fireworks and friendship. During the week, members can learn about all things pyrotechnic, such as:

  • What is new in consumer fireworks
  • How to choreograph and put on a fireworks display
  • Collectable fireworks and firecrackers
  • Safety and regulatory matters
  • How to make fireworks
  • Many, many more aspects of pyrotechnics

And that is only during the daylight hours! At night, the convention features amazing fireworks displays you’ll not ever see at your local July 4th show. There are competitions that feature member-made devices, special product demonstrations, movie/special effects, and anything else members can think of. The PGI convention is great fun for the whole family! The convention also features a Class C vending area that offers variety and pricing not available anywhere else… and you can shoot your fireworks right there at the convention site! There are also vendors offering fireworks building supplies, chemicals, and literature for people that make their own devices.

The PGI annual convention is a family affair. Many families camp onsite and have a great time at this fantastic vacation event. Children can join the Junior Pyrotechnics Association (JPA) where they will learn and be trained to safely create their own show that is shot in front of the public crowd during convention week! There are interesting seminars every day during the week, and also several non-pyro activities for those with other interests. But Friday night, The Grand Public Display is an evening you will not forget. There are several big displays and then a world-class “pyro-musical” show, with specialty fireworks that simply are not to be seen anywhere else. It is an evening that you will never forget.

The PGI is not only about the convention. Members also receive five issues each year of the PGI Bulletin, which feature articles on fireworks construction, display, history, collecting, photography—the list is endless. The Bulletin also offers regulatory and safety information, industry contacts, and a fascinating classified advertising section dedicated to fireworks. We certainly would love to have you attend a PGI convention and become part of the PGI family, though if you cannot attend a convention, a PGI membership is the best way to express your support for our cause. The fireworks community needs every bit of help it can get, and your membership goes a long way to ensuring our freedoms are maintained into the future as the PGI also helps set regulations and national policy on how operators and hobbyists handle and display fireworks.

So if you truly love fireworks, please consider joining the PGI. Also think about attending our convention, where friends, family, fun, and fireworks all come together.

Paul Smith
PGI President