Prepping for the big bang over Biloxi

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Biloxi Boom Boom Committee is a group of local merchants and residents dedicated to presenting one of the largest fireworks show in the region. This Independence Day will be no exception.

Anthony Lang of J&M Displays has been setting up firework shows for more than 20 years, and he knows how to please a crowd.

"We have close to... over 900 explosives. We have our main body that start off with some smaller shells. Our shells range from three inch, four inch, five, six and eight inch shells. We'll mix that up in the course of the show," said Lang, who is the lead pyrotechnician setting up for Biloxi's show.

All of those explosives will be fired in the course of 20 minutes. The size of the shell determines how high it flies and when it goes off.

The fireworks that will explode over the Biloxi Channel Monday evening are just one step below dynamite in power. Lang knows all too well the damage each explosive can cause. His arm carries the scars of when a shell unexpectedly went off.

"You need to be trained and know what you're doing... Our fuses travel at 32 feet per second... some of these fuses that have less than 30 inches. So, you're looking at an instant and it's up in the air," said Lang.

Lang works with a team of four for three days to set up the barge show. Team members say they always respect the power of these explosives.  Fire extinguishers are always nearby and everyone has safety gear.

However, when it's time for the show, they get the best seat in the house.

"It's a show that, if you're on the barge, you don't just see it, you feel it.  And you feel it before you see it," said Lang.

Biloxi's show lights up at 9 PM and can be seen anywhere along Casino Row. Gulfport will also have a professional show that goes at 8:45 PM from the Gulfport Harbor. Pascagoula's light show will also be at 9 PM at Beach Park.       

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