Behind the scenes of the Lufkin Fireworks Extravaganza

By Christel Phillips - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For the past five years the Mike Love & Associates Law Firm have sponsored Lufkin's Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza at the Ellen Trout Zoo. Mike Love, an  East Texas lawyer along with the help of several volunteers put on show that is estimated to cost nearly 25 thousand dollars.

It's long hours, sweat dripping tedious work for the volunteers helping to get ready for the big fireworks show of Lufkin, just ask, Pyrotechnics operator, Wayne Elledge he said, "Their {volunteers} spending their 4th of July to come out and help make this good for Lufkin and Angelina County. "

Since 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, the volunteers along with Mike Love & Associates Law Firm have been wiring various sizes of artillery shell fireworks, individually placing them in fiberglass tubes, so they can shoot as high as 850 feet in the sky.

About 2,500 fireworks are strategically placed and electrically wired to go off during the show, those fireworks will receive an electric current or a shock from what operators call a fire control box and with the flip of a switch, Lufkin's 4th of July light show will begin.

Elledge said, "It all coordinated to music and a stopwatch, it timed to the way we hook the fireworks up."

Tests are performed throughout the day to make sure everything is safe, secure, and ready. "An hour before the show we'll run another test to make sure we're still good," said Elledge.

With Lufkin's big extravaganza, safety always comes first, Mike Love, the sponsor of the fireworks event, said, "Everything is fired electronically so there is nobody that is within a 100 feet of these things {fireworks} when they go off."

It's quite a bit of time, money, and effort that goes into putting on this firework show but Love says this is what he loves to do.  Love said with a big smile on his face, "I have a lot of fun doing this. You work as a lawyer all year long and this is my one real play time to stop doing law work and get out here and have a lot of fun."

The show has four licensed and trained pyrotechnic operators on site. Love adds the Lufkin Fire Department is on standby should a brush fire spark from the fireworks.

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