BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Cities across South Mississippi will light up the night sky with fireworks displays on this Fourth of July. Workers spent the day loading shells into mortars on a barge in Biloxi in advance of an explosive extravaganza once the sun goes down. The fireworks will be shot into the air from Deer Island starting at 9 p.m.
WLOX News talked with the fireworks crew about tonight's show. We asked David Spears, of J&M Displays, about what people can expect to see tonight when the sun goes down and the fireworks light up the sky.
"We will put up a lot of red, white and blue, because it is Fourth of July of course, but they will see every color of the rainbow," said Spears. "We have a huge amount of what we call tree kind of shells. Palm trees, weeping willow trees that burst way up in the air and rain down. So, this kind of setting, like Deer Island with water all around us, is a perfect place to do that. We've got some gorgeous cross sets, which is a shell that goes up in the air and breaks and breaks again. So we have some gorgeous colors, and we have some gorgeous special effects going from anywhere from 200 feet to 12,000 feet in the air."
Spears says there is something about the boom and flash of the fireworks that really gets people's blood flowing.
"I think on Fourth of July patriotism has a lot to do with it, but generally I think it's just the excitement and the adrenaline," said Spears.
Spears says people view Fourth of July fireworks displays as an American tradition, and it is his company's job to make sure that everyone leaves the show satisfied.
"I forget the exact statistic…98 percent of people like fireworks. It's just something they like…and, it has gotten to be an American tradition. So on Fourth of July, people come out of the woodwork, in spite of the heat, in spite of the traffic, in spite of the bugs, in spite of the sand and just enjoy the fireworks, and it is our job to make sure they are properly entertained and that's what we try to do," said Spears.
Even more amazing than the show is the sheer number of explosives it takes to make a firework display extravaganza.
"We've got to believe that the total is over 1,500 shells going up in the air in 22 minutes. Two thirds of those will be in the first 21 minutes, and the last minute will be about 50 percent of that. It's going to be about 50 percent of what we put up in the air before that. So, it's over 1,500 fireworks in every size shape and color," said Spears