Fireworks have been a stable in America's history, especially when celebrating Independence Day. So putting on a fantastic firework show is crucial on the 4th of July. We'll bring you a behind the scenes look to see how what goes into delivering that spectacular.
It's dress rehearsal day for the employees of Pyro Shows. The Tennessee-based firework company puts on most of the 4th of July shows in our area.
"4th of July is our Christmas time for like Wal-mart or the mall and consumer stores," said Pyro Shows Operations Manager, Jesse Salveson.
A group of about 10 men set up for the show at the County Pier Tuesday, where more than 1,500 fireworks will light up the sky Wednesday night.
"We started about seven this morning, transporting our racks and equipment out on to the end of the pier and they are going to build it," Salveson added.
The men set up racks with mortars in them. The mortars look like big tubes, each one will hold a firework inside, and depending on the size, it will determine how high and how wide the explosion will be. Some will get as a high 1,000 feet in the air and 1,000 feet wide. But launching the fireworks is so much more work than just lighting a fuse.
On Tuesday the men set up the mortar racks in specific pattern to make sure they synchronize perfectly with the music.
"We time our shells and we have to back time to count of the lift charge going up and when it will break," Salveson added.
"For a little 20 minute show a lot of pieces have to come together at the same time," said Panama City's Downtown Improvement Board Director, Dutch Sanger.
Sanger says putting on the entire event at the Panama City Marina will cost about $50,000 dollars, $22,000 of that goes to fireworks alone.
"I think it's worth every penny," Sanger said.
"It's a lot of hard work but it is a rewarding experience when you hit that last switch at the end of the show and you have thousands of people screaming and hollering and going crazy, you just entertained thousands of people," Salveson added.
All firework shows in Bay County start at 9:00 p.m. tomorrow.