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Ever wonder what exactly goes into putting on a professional firework show?

Posted at 10:21 PM, Jul 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-04 23:21:37-04

RALSTON, Neb. — It's a lot of fun to enjoy the annual fireworks that go off in our towns during the Fourth of July. But for a professional show, a lot of preparation and hard work goes on behind the scenes.

"January, we start literally the second week in January," J&M Displays Regional Vice President Ted Kallhoff said.

And since January, Ted Kallhoff and his team have been putting the finishing touches on the annual Ralston Fireworks Show. Everything from coordinating the music to the fireworks and budgeting, everyone is busy until the show starts.

"The show lasts right at twenty minutes, just under twenty minutes, as far as how many shells go up I can tell you easier, we've got about four thousand pounds of explosives," Kallhoff said.

How much money your city may be spending on companies like J&M and the actual fireworks depends.

"Towns vary anywhere from five thousand dollars to a hundred thousand dollars, it really comes down to what their budget is," Kallhoff said.

It's not just anyone that can put together a show like this. Specific licenses are required.

"We have to have a lot of different licenses. We carry ones through the ATF, we usually have to have one through the state and a lot of times the cities require us to get a permit as well," Kallhoff said.

These guys are professionals, making sure that you enjoy the show and are safe all at the same time.

"We have a specific parameter through the state fire marshall and federal standards on how many feet out we have to keep people away," Kallhoff said.

When you go home, the job isn't done for them just yet,

"Let's say tonight we'll shoot the show at ten o'clock, they probably won't be finished tearing down and on their back to our location until probably two in the morning," Kallhoff said.