COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — While some Fourth of July shows around the nation were canceled due to shortages of fireworks and staff, that's not happening in Coeur d'Alene, as reported by our news partners, the Coeur d'Alene Press.
No way, said organizers. This is a town that treasures Independence Day.
"We'll be ready to go," said Dalton Vaughan with Pyro Spectaculars as he began preparations Friday for tonight's extravaganza over Lake Coeur d'Alene.
The Fourth of July fireworks display near The Coeur d'Alene Resort promises to be another boom time.
An estimated 800 shells will light up the night sky for about 20 minutes.
Vaughan is looking forward to the roars of the crowd that follow the array of lights and explosions.
"We can hear them cheer," he said.
Vaughn and crew spent the last few days arranging the shells in mortars set on a barge.
The barge will be pulled today across the bay toward Tubbs Hill, a popular viewing point for the big show, along with City Beach and Independence Point.
The fireworks fundraising drive is led by the Coeur d'Alene Regional Chamber.
It was a little behind last week, but the size of the celebration doubled recently following a substantial contribution by several Hagadone Corporation companies.
"We wanted to make sure it was a great show," said Craig Brosenne, president of the Hagadone Marine Group, which stepped up along with The Coeur d'Alene Resort, Best Western Plus Coeur d'Alene Inn, Hagadone Media Group and The Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course.
Brosenne noted that 10- and 12-inch shells will be used for the Independence Day event that pays "tribute to those who fought for our freedom and future."
"They’ll really light up the sky," he said.
Vaughan has orchestrated the annual show since 2010. He's the one who determines when the shells are sent high into the sky.
It's generally a three-man operation, including a safety spotter and another person to ignite the shells electronically by touching a probe to a numbered panel.
Vaughan said timing is important to avoid any lulls in the production.
"It’s my job to make sure there’s not black spots in the sky," he said.
It's a family-run business. Rich Vaughan, Dalton's uncle, owns Pyro Spectaculars. Dalton's son Marshall, 5, was helping carry mortars on Friday and chatting with the set-up crew.
"He's learning how to do it," Dalton Vaughan said.
Contributions to the community fireworks fund are welcome at cdachamber.com.
The Coeur d'Alene Press is a KREM 2 news partner. For more from our partners, click here.