Rain or shine: Pyro Shows preps for fireworks

11:43 PM, Jul 2, 2013   |    comments
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Pyro Shows prepares for fireworks between rain showers Tuesday

Although several East Tennessee communities have postponed their Fourth of July fireworks shows, the City of Knoxville wants to stay on schedule.

City leaders in Athens and Oak Ridge have delayed shows there, and Dandridge officials canceled its annual Fourth of July boat parade.

Knoxville's show is still in the works. Once again, the LaFollete-based Pyro Shows is behind the display. Tuesday, crews were setting up the shells and mortars between breaks in the rain.

"We can shoot in probably worse weather than you would want to watch it," laughed crew member Randall Heatherly.

"Everything is waterproof, so we can go on as long as the customer wants us to go on," he said.

Lightning or severe wind could cause a damper in those plans, but Heatherly said rain isn't a major problem.

The fireworks are stuffed into waterproof, fiberglass mortars then covered with a fire-retardant black material. It not only keeps the water away from the explosives, but also prevents sparks spreading to quickly during the show.

With rain breaks, it's time consuming work. So Heatherly and the others started work early this week.

"We make sure we have enough time in our schedule to deal with that," he said

The fireworks are scheduled to shoot around 9:30 Thursday night. Click here for a complete list of Fourth of July activities.

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