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Behind the scenes: First Coast fireworks shows

11:22 PM, Jul 3, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Before the fireworks light up the First Coast skies, First Coast News has a behind the scenes look at the days worth of work that go into several local Independence Day fireworks displays.

The seven-person crew is working hard to finish up another Fourth of July fireworks show.

The men of Fireworks by Santore handle thousands of dollars worth of pyrotechnic entertainment as they unload their truck, assemble the racks and load a number of shells.

"This thing will go about 600-700 feet in the air and they'll break about 400-500 feet in the air," said Dave Batten, head technician with Fireworks by Santore.

It's a lengthy process that's getting even longer because every show is assembled outside on a barge then pulled by tugboat to its final location.

RELATED: Your guide to First Coast 4th of July celebrations

This week's wet weather has put the crew a full day behind.

"You're on a metal barge, you got water on the ground you got all the wrongs that hopefully don't make that right," said Batten.

The fear is that a lighting strike will create enough electricity to prematurely spark and start a fireworks free for all.

So they're cutting out the guess work and scrambling to finish seven shows before the next thunderstorm hits.

First Coast News has reached out to the cities of Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach and St. Augustine to see if there is a backup plan, in case of inclement weather and we've been told there is no Plan B.

RELATED: Explosive demonstration shows firework hazards


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