For the past 10 years, Mike Love and Associates have been funding and putting together the Lufkin Fireworks Extravaganza. Coordinating a town's firework show takes a lot more time and effort than people realize.
"There's an amazing amount of work that goes into putting this on,” said Mike Love, Lufkin’s Firework Extravaganza coordinator. “There's probably 700 to 800 man hours that go into preparing a show like this.”
When does the planning begin?
"Months ahead of time,” Love said. “From organizing everything, making sure the trailers are in good condition, checking the fire systems, and all the way to pre-wiring.”
Even with the months of pre-planning, the major physical set up takes place the morning of the big show. Even though it takes as many as 30 people, it's a grueling task for everyone.
"It's funny because when it comes to fireworks and the new volunteers come in, they think it's going to be a lot of fun,” Love said. “Then when the sweat and the dirt starts going about 3-4 hours in, they realize it’s work."
Whether they were filling firing boxes with correctly sized shells, helping with wiring, or working to get everything in the correct order, everyone had had their hands full. First time volunteers said Mike Love and Associates made it easy to learn something that seemed so difficult.
"It's actually something simple and easy and not hard to screw up,” said first time volunteer Jackson Robinson. “It's literally making two wires touch and making it in an environment where they can conduct electricity, set off a spark, and boom!"
While the hundreds of hours of work only results in a few minutes of action, for Mike Love, it's totally worth it.
"I get to look across the lake and see thousands and thousands of people come out for this thing and enjoy it,” Love said. “And I get to be a part of something so special.”