GR fireworks: Waterfalls, palm trees and a rainbow

Behind the scenes of the Grand Rapids fireworks show on Saturday, July 2, 2016.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — West Michigan’s biggest Fourth of July fireworks show, Saturday night in downtown Grand Rapids, took weeks to put together.

The plans include a first-ever special effect — a rainbow of fireworks arching across the river.

“We added some more special stuff, different stuff Grand Rapids has never seen before,” said Gary Richards, of  Arthur Rozzi Pyrotechnics.

>>Inside woodtv.com: 2016 Fourth of July fireworks, events in West Michigan

“We’ve got some effects that are really going to make them wow.”

They also include a 400-foot tall pyrotechnic palm tree.

“If you’re 10 miles away, you’ll see a lot of the high stuff, but you’ll miss a lot of the lower effects,” Richards said.

That would include waterfalls of sparks pouring into the Grand River — a local favorite.

The crew from Arthur Rozzi Pyrotechnics started putting together the show weeks ago, with help from a computer.

The show was set to start at 10:30 p.m. and last 24 minutes with more than 5,000 shells fired from the pedestrian bridge over the Grand River.

They got here at 8 a.m. Saturday to start setting it up.

It is scripted down to the second.

“Just in the finale alone, at one point, there will be 1,800 [shells] going up at once,” Richards said. “A big, big finale.”

Grand Rapids police say they beefed up security for the show.

As far as the fire danger, however, firefighters say that has subsided in West Michigan because of a recent rainfall.

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