Firework Display Preparation

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

Months of careful planning, thousands of dollars raised and hundreds of hours of hard work all come together Sunday night. That's when Rockford's waterfront is lit up with its annual fireworks display.

The final preparations made this Saturday only heighten the excitement for crew and organizers. We are just under 24 hours before Rockford's summer sky is all aglow with fireworks. Those who make the show happen can't wait to unleash a popular phenomenon.

Firework operator Dennis Opalacz says, "It continues to grow. We're afraid we might have to move again. his is the third time we've moved and we have a great field."

Operators have reason for the excitement. On Saturday the crew fought through off and on rain to get fireworks banks wired and ready to rock. Even with mother nature's interruptions, the crew says a little weather won't stop the festivities.

Opalacz says, "We could literally shoot in a downpour, people don't want to come out in a downpour but if we have a small rain or it's raining just prior to the show people will still come out and see a great show."

The 30-minute show will unload thousands of different shaped shells. It will be a fireworks assortment from around the world ready to light up northern Illinois.
Fireworks operators get shells from China, Spain and Hong Kong plus a mix of their own production shells.

The eve of the show culminates months of hard work for the Fourth of July committee, which looks forward to seeing their ideas light up high in the sky.

The total cost for the show is $65,000. The money comes from individual donations and business sponsors. Getting the perfect seat to watch the sky concert can be a challenge, but we're all getting a little sneak peak to test out our seats.

Starting at 5 p.m. Sunday night there will be a pre-show test every half hour till 8 p.m. after 8 p.m. pre-show tests will happen every 15 minutes right up until show time at 9:30 p.m.


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