Pyrotechnicians ready Space Needle for annual New Years show

Pyrotechnicians ready Space Needle for annual New Years show »Play Video
SEATTLE - It's an annual tradition - watching the dazzling New Years fireworks at the Space Needle.

But in order for this to happen, a plethora of pyrotechnics need to get from the ground to 600 feet up in the Seattle sky.

"Fireworks are fireworks, but taking those fireworks and putting them on this unique building - that's where the special challenge comes in," says Ian Gilfillan of Pyro Spectaculars.

The challenge starts in the belly of the Needle, where thousands of fireworks are pulled to the top through a tiny hatch.

"It is fun, but it's a labor of love. It's called fireworks for a reason," says Ryan Arnold of Pyro Spectaculars.

Once through the door, boxes of fireworks are rolled into 64 positions by carefully tethered technicians. It requires safety and Mother Nature's cooperation. This year - so far so good, but …

"I don't want to talk about the weather because it'll turn on us in a heartbeat," says Gilfillan.

It takes a crew of a dozen men to set up more than 210,000 fireworks.

This year technicians say we can expect a more dynamic show, with more movement and less smoke thanks to new explosive material that'll color the sky from every angle.

"We've got mines, we have comets, we have candles," says one technician. "From the very top saucer roof all the way to the 100-foot level and everywhere in between."

The show will start just minutes before midnight on New Years Eve and lasts eight minutes.