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Crews Set Up Thousands of Fireworks for Big Duluth Show

Updated: 07/03/2014 10:20 PM
Created: 07/03/2014 9:23 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson

Some fireworks Thursday may have kicked off the holiday weekend early, but the biggest and loudest fireworks show is yet to come. And before the fireworks can shoot off over the Duluth-Superior Harbor Friday night, crews had to put the whole show together.

Eyewitness News went behind the scenes for the first time to see how the pyrotechnic experts set up the fireworks before that first big boom.

"When we are finished there will be thousands of them out here," said Mark Hanson with Pyrotechnic Display.

The fireworks will shoot off from a private piece of land in the harbor.

To the average eye, the set up of fireworks may look a bit like a complicated and dangerous puzzle, but for Hanson and his crew, it's what they do every day.

"They are loading in 8-inch shells now," explained Hanson.

This particular show over the harbor, however, always has the biggest bang.

"This is the largest fireworks show in Minnesota and we have a backdrop you can't get anywhere else in the country," said Anna Tanski, the president at Visit Duluth.

Tanski said this show is $50,000, which is what they usually spend. They've been planning for the annual fireworks show for six months.

"We work with the land owner here to make sure everything is secure and we begin the music process, selection and that kind of thing," she explained.

Then the experts, like Hanson, take over.

"Once we get that done, then we sit down and put it in a computer and we script it out line by line and we can get down to a tenth of a second," said Hanson.

Everything is electronic now, they will light the show while sitting in front of a computer.

So, will folks notice anything different in this year's show?

"You'll see some new shells, watch for the jelly fish."

But Hanson won't give too much away, he said you'll just have to look to the sky to find out.

The show starts Friday at 10:10 p.m. over the water.

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