OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV)-Sitting in the dark with friends and family watching fireworks light up the sky is a Fourth of July tradition for many in Northeast Wisconsin.
But have you ever thought about how much work goes on behind the scenes to make these firework shows possible?
In Oshkosh, professional pyrotechnics from Wolverine Fireworks shoot off fireworks from Monkey Island just off the shoreline of Menominee Park. All the firework show supplies have to get brought over on a boat which makes setting up for this show one of the most elaborate and extensive shows they set up during the year.
The first step is arranging black mortar tubes into long zigzagging rows. These hold the fireworks.
“We have to look at the condition of the ground make sure it’s level make sure the racks are stable we may have to add extra stability to them so we don’t have to worry about them tipping over in the show,” said Nick Everson who works for Wolverine Fireworks.
The Wolverine Fireworks employees also clean the black mortar tubes to make sure there isn’t anything that could prevent the firework from going off or create a safety hazard.
The firework shells then get placed into the black mortar tubes. There are different sizes for each shell, three inches, four inches, five inches, six inches, and eight inches. The eight inch shells are so powerful they have to get contained inside barrels for safety.
The Wolverine Fireworks employees also have to set up the electronic firing system they use to fire off many of the fireworks. The whole process can take up to four days and requires 40 hours of work.
“When the show is done and you get to hear all their excitement their screaming and clapping and you can hear that no matter how far away the crowd is,” said Everson.
Everson works at Wolverine Fireworks with his father Al and his son also helped set up the fireworks on Sunday. Nick said that getting to do all the hard work with family makes it easier to get through it. His father Al concurs.
“It’s enjoyable I get to do things with them they get to do things with me and later on we get to reminice about it too,” said Al Everson.
The firework show in Oshkosh is set for Monday night at dusk in Menominee Park. The rainout date is Tuesday.