Crews prep for Freedom Fest 2011

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Monday night, people will surround the fairgrounds and look to the sky. But, there's a lot the that goes into making it all happen.

Since Wednesday, a team of three have been unloading box-after-box, getting ready for Freedom Fest 2011 at the Craighead County Fairgrounds. And there's been a lot of leg work. "We've been averaging about four hours of sleep a night. A lot of labor goes into doing this," said Ben Fletcher, who is the lead shooter with Liberty Pyrotechnics. He's been in the business for ten years.

And Sunday, we got a glimpse of what it takes to shoot off a spectacular show. "Alright take the shell here, drop it in the tube, and check to make sure it's all the way down in there. Then we make a couple of loops around the tube. That way, when this shell goes up, it's going off, and it's not pulling the wire. And last, we plug it into our firing module," said Fletcher.

Now, take this into consideration there are 11-hundred shells to connect, which are bundled together in twenty different modules. Fletcher says it takes about an hour and forty-five minutes to set up and wire each module. That way the fireworks can be fired off electronically through their programmed firing system.

"It's all scripted, and the script is loaded into here. So when we get ready to start the show, I go in and select the script. We then plug-in our trigger, and it tells me to press the hold fire. So we're then ready to go," said Fletcher. And adds, if there's a problem all he has to do release the trigger, and the show will come to halt.

As Fletcher took us around the set up, he says it's all about the details, and expects this Fourth of July show to really light up the sky. "We've angled a lot of our cannons to really fill the sky up," said Fletcher.

You can see the result of all the hard work Monday night July 4th. Join KAIT and the Jonesboro Radio Group as we sponsor Freedom Fest 2011. The show will start lighting up the sky at exactly 9:30p.m.

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