Here is a tried, tested and true waterfall effect.
I would like to share with you a wonderful waterfall effect that I have developed. The waterfall will have a fall of 20-30 feet and last around 90 seconds. I guarantee that if you watch the whole effect, you will be seeing spots for the next 10 minutes, if not more. But it's well worth it.
The waterfall mix...
46% - potassium perchlorate
18% - bright aluminum (300-400 mesh)
14% - granular aluminum (50-100 mesh)
14% - spherical titanium
8% - dextrin
Mix together with just enough water or solvent so that the composition clumps when put under pressure. Then pack the composition into paper tubes that are approximately 5/8th inch inside diameter and 8 1/2 inches long (take normal paper and roll it into tubes using masking tape on the ends and middle to hold its shape). Leave about 1/2 inch at one end for your ignition mix which consists of 50% waterfall mix and 50% black powder. Pack that composition in the last 1/2 inch along with a fuse. Let dry for at least one day. The longer the dry time, the better off you are. Then wire up a series of these packed tubes about 20 feet up in the air so that they hang fuse side down and link them together using quickmatch. Then light it and watch the silver waterfall come tumbling down to earth. I have hung them over 30 feet in the air and still had the sparks reach the ground.
A word of caution... If you light this over grass, you will not have grass there anymore. Not this year at least. This composition burns very hot. Not quite hot enough to melt cement, but close. Use caution when picking a place to hang your waterfall and use very strong wire that can take a lot of heat too. Our first attempt broke metal fishing line and we had a real mess to deal with when they all came tumbling down and shooting around the yard unrestrained. If they happen to break the line they are hung by, definitely do NOT try and step on them to put them out. The composition is burning and loosening the pack will result in immediate consumption of the fuel (aluminum and titanium). It will melt the thickest of shoe / boot souls. Letting them burn out on their own is your best bet.
I would suggest that you launch some shells up over the waterfall. A couple of nice breaks (I like blue chrysanthemums) during the waterfall will keep the crowd interested. Also, a battery of plain roman candles going in the background shooting over the top of the falls toward the crowd adds a nice touch too. In combination, the three effects are something that will have the crowd oooooo'ing and aaaahhhhh'ing.
By Kurt Schumacher