Crews Spend Hours Of Hard Labor Setting Up Fireworks Display

The launchers are moved into position, and then secured in place.

"Trying to get everything laid out straight. Hope everything goes all right," said William Garrett.

He's is in charge of making sure each rack of casings matches the diagram. Garrett and his crew work for "Artisan Pyrotechnics" of Wiggins. He will use a computer to launch the explosives in Ocean Springs - all 1,000 of them.

"It'll be my first time pushing the button," Garrett said. When asked if he was nervous, Garrett said, "A little bit. Ain't never done it off a barge either."

Garrett is getting a lot of guidance from his supervisor and dad, Lee Garrett.

"These are your actual fireworks," Lee Garrett said as he held up a bunch of mortar rounds.

"You don't want to put your face over them while you're loading them, just in case something does go off," he said.

Garrett then explained how the mortar shells are connected to the computer system.

"We got to hook all our fuses up, run everything back to the computer, which we fire off of that," Garrett said. "A set-up of this size would normally take four men about 8 hours of hard labor. It's a whole lot of work for 20 minutes worth of pleasure."

And the crew must take every precaution, even for rain. The loaded barge will move into position, about 1,000 feet from Ocean Springs Front Beach. The crew is ready to fire up the night with a brilliant, breathtaking light show.

"Hopefully, everything goes right and 8:30 tonight, we shoot them off," Garrett said.

The city of Ocean Springs is spending $10,000 for the fireworks display, and $8,000 to rent the barge. If it rains, the crew will wait for a break in between the showers, to shoot off the mortar shells.