Insane Fireworks in Tultepec

Written by Harry Gilliam

Topics: Consumer Fireworks, Travel

Every year about this time, the good people of Tultepec (about an hour north of Mexico City) stage the wildest and craziest fireworks event literally on the planet Earth.

Click here: TultepecFireworks

A whole buncha my pyro pals from the Florida Club are down there as I write this. And I am NOT.

I HATE when that happens!

Enjoy the video. And tell me what you think of it.

Harry

29 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. p chezem says:

    thanks for the video , it won”t work in the usa because of the safety restrictions and accidents involved in the industry. government restrictions and anti fireworks lobbyists would eat it alive. it is pretty from a distance and definately an attraction for adventural youngsters , however the usa is not the place libility insurance woul be grievious,

  2. Peter Boccaccio says:

    Hey Harry!

    I do business in Tultepec, and on occasion have done the Bull Run. It is my experience that you want to get as close as possible to the bull, as the drivers are slow to develop complete thrust and velocity. Great fun. But not for the US.

    Tultepec as you know is an economy based on fireworks. Every so often there are accidents, and sometimes people die. This sad fact does not seem to deter people from continuing to make fireworks, support their families and employ thousands. It almost seems like they are willing to pay the ultimate price.

    The bulls in a way a emblematic to a dangerous industry, inducing an adrenalin rush in a community that is accustomed to big bangs.

    Nice subject. Cheers.

  3. Graylin says:

    Harry,
    I was there. The first time I saw it I thought ‘insane’. That’s the only way to describe it ‘insane’. There are a lot more people in the town square than can be seen in this video. The stick-less rockets (busca pieses – feet seekers) flying at the people are about the size of a large adult finger, maybe a little wider. If you are not so close and don’t get hit by too many at once you can just brush them off. I have clothing with black scorch marks from these sparking tubes. I purposely keep my distance from these toritos (paper mache bulls). You have to respect the fireworks or you will get burned. Most of the excitement, the scampering and jumping people, hoping not to get hit too badly, occurred away from me. But on occasion the action was a little too close for my comfort as the crowd came running towards me, pushing, to get away from the flying, crackling, tubes of sparks. This year I noticed some of the large toritos also had small multi-shot cakes, roman candles, comet tubes, and other fireworks, like flaming, spinning wheels (coronas) mounted and firing from their backs into the sky. I really feared one of these toritos tipping over and some serious firework projectiles going into the crowd. But that didn’t happen and the handlers always struggled to upright any toritos that fell over. No. Not in the USA. The moment some one gets burned – Lawsuit! And that would be the end of that. This is what happens during the Night of A Thousand Toritos. Starting just after sundown and lasting well past midnight, maybe as late as 3:00 am. The toritos just keep coming one right after another. During the afternoon there is a parade or procession of these toritos through the town to the town square. There is a lot of pride in the construction of each of these toritos and each tends to have a theme or allude to some other socially identifying characteristic, like a super hero or cartoon character. The small, single person carried, toritos are probably built by a single person but the larger four to eight person handled toritos are most likely a group effort, sponsored by a local church, club, or barrio. The parade is very festive, some of the toritos are accompanied by a small band or chanting chorus of boosters. The daytime parade and the nighttime charging of the Bulls is definitely a highpoint to this festival. The toritos that survive the night are most likely recycled for next year but many do not survive, they go up in smoke or get burned beyond recognition. Oh, also throughout the day and night there are salute rockets and shells being fired at random throughout town. For the first time I actually shot some salute rockets, from my bare hand. Insane. I understand this is the one place in Mexico where there are no rules governing fireworks or at least that’s what I heard.

  4. burton says:

    I like the video even though it’s nothing I want to be in the middle of. As for the legallity part if your an adult you should have the right to take your own risks without an oversized government saying you don’t have the right to. We all take risks in life regardless of rather it’s driving to work or playing with fireworks. Myself I make and hand lite a dozen or more 6″ shells along with several 3″, 4″, and 5″ shells every 4th. Not the safest thing to be doing, but this is a risk I’m willing to take, just like the guys in the video are willing to take their risk with that. I don’t see them making that celebration in Mexico illigal anytime soon. They have bigger problems. Now here in the USA the government is doing everything possable to stop all fireworks. While I put alot of blame on a government wanting to control everything, alot of blame can be place on common people. Now days someone gets a scratch they want to sue, or whine to the government saying why didn’t you protect me. Wimps, idiots, and big government seem to go together and ruin things for everyone else. There seems to be an over abundance of them right now. Just my take on this.

  5. Aarkitup says:

    I am unrestricted Pro pyro with unrestricted pyro theatrical endorsement, living/licensed in Perth Western Australia. This so-called “insane & dangerous” Mexican Tultepec pyro-fun, is very important footage that the whole World should see, enjoy and chat about (in perspective). Public Liability insurance companies should see it also, perhaps then they will understand that consensual folks can, in a controlled environment, be deliberately “insane & dangerous” doing close proximity theatrical performance pyro fun without killing/seriously maiming NON-consensual people/creatures/property. All is needed are some simple basic safety protocols: don’t do it in high winds with risk of embers creating bushfire; don’t do it within 200 meters of a fuel depot and have fire tenders on standby to hose the crowd down with water canons. Also never have anything on the burning bull that could become shrapnel.
    There are thousands of things we humans do for fun, art or sport that carry a risk of death/injury and no one blinks an eye, but introduce unorthodox pyro fun, and, suddenly, it seems, we become very bad people.

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