Booming Family

Go inside the Zambelli fireworks factory in New Castle.

Photos by Renee Rosensteel

You’ll find three generations of the Zambelli family spread out among the company’s vast fireworks factory in New Castle: George Zambelli Jr., M.D., the current Chairman of the Board; his uncle, Lou, who, at age 86, is still putting together custom shells on a daily basis; and George Jr.’s sons, George III and Jared, who are getting ready to carry the family name into the 21st century. Patriarch Antonio Zambelli began working with pyrotechnics as a hobby in the 1800s; his sons took up the business shortly after World War II.

In 1955, the company orchestrated eight displays the week of July 4; by 2000, the number had risen to 800. Today, Zambelli Fireworks puts on more than 2,500 displays every year, from downtown Pittsburgh to Switzerland — and beyond.

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