A La Porte County Life in the Spotlight: Bob Kerns

By: Paige Pope Last Updated: July 30, 2014

bob-kernsThis week’s La Porte County Life in the Spotlight, Bob Kerns, is definitely someone who knows how to go out with a bang. Kerns in the Director of Operations at Melrose Pyrotechnics, a fireworks display company based out of Kingsbury that designs and shoots firework shows all over the country.

This community loves fireworks. With such a large 4th of July showing and so many lakes in the area, fireworks are synonymous with our summers. Kerns takes this local passion above and beyond. Although Melrose competes in numerous competitions throughout the country, they even had the opportunity to go international in a recent show in Montreal, Canada. Melrose competed in the annual show, L'International des Feux Loto-Québec, on the 19th.

The competition takes place each summer, and this year, from June 28 to August 2. During this competition, each show is presented by a representative chosen from each country, and Melrose was chosen to represent the U.S. This is a great honor to our community. The awards will be given out after the final, non-competitive show on August 2nd.

Each company in the show designs a never before seen set that has a unique theme. This year, Melrose chose the theme “Fright Night.”
According to Kerns, being chosen to compete is a great opportunity, and no matter what the outcome is, he is happy with the show that Melrose put on.

“We were very happy with our program. The people there seemed to really enjoy it. If we’re selected to win a prize or to be on the podium again that’s great but it’s not the only reason we go,” Kerns said. “Any time you’re invited to any competition like this, you’ve already won. Just being invited and being around the best companies in the world is a great achievement.”

However, this is not the first time that Melrose has been invited to this competition. Being the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Fireworks Show, past gold winners were invited back. Melrose won gold at the competition on 2006 and bronze in 2009.

Kerns believes that a combination of two things is what makes Melrose different from other pyrotechnic companies. Melrose’s choreography between the fireworks and the music as well as the fact that they have their own sound studio and create their own soundtracks is what causes them to excel in their business. Kerns’ fascination with fireworks started early on in his life. As a child, the police were in charge of the fireworks around his home. His dad being a member of the police department sparked some interest in Kerns.

According to Kerns, one of the best things about being a part of the Melrose Company is the choreography involved in the shows.
“It’s having a vision in your mind and seeing it created and then having it take place in the sky and seeing the crowd’s reaction,” Kerns said.
For more information on what Kern does at Melrose Pyrotechnics, visit their website.