Pyrotechnics Operator: 'Lufkin Firework Extravaganza is only getting bigger'

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Mike Love and Associates Law Firm have been working hard to make this year's firework extravaganza bigger and better.

Wayne Elledge, an investigator for the law firm and Pyrotechnics Operator for the firework show, says it takes a lot of man hours to put the show together, and money saying the show costs anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000.

"This year, it's just bigger all around," Elledge said.

For the past 8 years, Mike Love and Associates Law Firm have been adding more firework shells to the show at Ellen Trout Zoo, topping it off with nearly 3,000 shells this year.

The five-inch shells can even travel 500 feet into the air, which puts in a big wow factor for the show.

About 14 people, including volunteers, woke up Thursday morning to make sure tents full of fireworks were ready and willing to go off at the right time.

"We shoot by the numbers. Everything we do is by the numbers. There's so much fire going on that when we shoot the shells in a certain order, we don't want it coming back down—the sparks and everything coming back down and setting everything on fire," Elledge said.

That's why they put tin foil over the top of the firework tubes, wrap them tightly, and wait for the show to start. Elledge says it's very important to be safe with the fireworks, since some of them are rigged to shoot 180 firework shells into the air per minute.

"You don't pull the fuse of the firework. You handle them gently, and they have an electric fire match in them that if it's jerked out, it can ignite," Elledge said.

But the show is in good hands, Elledge said.

"It's been a really good show and people have showed a lot of support. Mike he just likes to make it bigger and better so he told me this year let's add to it and we added more shells and more bigger shells that do more in the air," Elledge said.

Elledge says they will begin ordering firework shells for next year's Independence Day show in December. There's no telling how many shells they will add in 2014, but Elledge promises it will be even bigger.

Elledge says the Lufkin Fire Department is always on hand in case a fire does start.

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