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Pyro Techs Prepare For Duck Creek Fireworks Show

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Crews loaded barges with racks of fireworks for Tuesday night's show. Crews loaded barges with racks of fireworks for Tuesday night's show.
Pyro techs prepare for the Duck Creek fireworks show. Pyro techs prepare for the Duck Creek fireworks show.

With the Fourth of July right around the corner, many are prepping for extravagant fireworks shows.

Putting together a show of this kind involves a lot of planning and manpower.

The Arrowhead Marina at Grand Lake brought in pyro techs from Missouri to put the masterpiece together Monday night.

Barges were filled with fireworks that would soon ignite and shine over Duck Creek.

"It's just a great evening and very excited crowd," said Arrowhead Yacht Club & Marina President Joe Harwood.

But before the crowd can enjoy the fireworks, there's a pretty lengthy process the organizers have to go through.

6/26/12 Related Story: Firework Displays Planned For Tulsa, Green Country

An eight man crew from Missouri has been working nonstop since Friday.

"We eat and sleep and that's pretty much about it," said pyro tech, Ken Schultz. "Very excruciating days. If there's 14 hours of daylight in most days we do it out here on the show."

Once on the site, it's time to start by laying out the wooden racks.

"It's a very laborious activity. Generally, it takes about two days to do the rack layout," Schultz said.

Next step: dropping the shells into the racks.

Schultz said Tuesday night, they'll be using shells that range from 3 inches in diameter to 10 inches.

The biggest shell that's sold at a fireworks stand is a measly inch and a half.

"Very large shells—some ten-inch shells are going to be amazing shells," Schultz said.

Monday, the team was wiring each shell, which is a very tedious process.

"During the actual show, a computer fires electrical voltage down those wires and actually produces the show. It can fire multiple shells at the same time,' Schultz said.

After the wiring process, a boat will pull the barges out to the middle of Duck Creek where red and white buoys sit.

The fireworks will shoot across the sky for 29 minutes and are choreographed to music.

Schultz said this is a time consuming project, but once he hears the crowd "Ooh" and "Ahh" then it's all worth it.

"You just get that little tingling feeling on your neck," Schultz said. "You know you've done a good job when you hear that because it is very exciting moment to know you've pulled off a big show."

The Duck Creek fireworks show is Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m.

Also, the Grand River Dam Authority is enforcing a special holiday rule for the creek tomorrow.

Any watercraft in Duck Creek must go as slow as possible with minimum wake, all day long.

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