Rhythm & Booms fireworks set up begins, volunteers needed - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Rhythm & Booms fireworks set up begins, volunteers needed for event

WARNER PARK (WKOW) -- We're just a few days away from Rhythm and Booms. The annual Fourth of July celebration kicks off on Saturday, and crews are already getting ready for the big event at Warner Park.

It takes months of planning and nearly a week to lay out all the fireworks at the launch site.

"We set up all the equipment first and then we start getting shells out of the truck, put the shells in the tubes," says Josh Whiteis, a pyrotechnician with J&M Displays.

Hundreds of fireworks lined up perfectly in rows create a spectacular Fourth of July display. There's a wide variety of shapes and patterns, keeping viewers guessing what will come next. What's unique about this show, is the rhythm of the booms.

Each firework is timed to music and set off by three computers. It's a skill that takes a lot of practice and time to develop. Pyrotechnicians actually choreograph when to launch to get the firework in the air to the beat of the music.

"We do all that testing ahead of time so we know how long that takes from ignition to when it breaks in the sky," says Whiteis.

This year, crews have even more on their plate to keep things safe. It's been hot and dry, sucking all the moisture out of the grass, but the fire department is keeping a close eye on weather conditions. Officials say the launch site is in pretty good shape right now.

"There's not a lot of high grass, the grass and shrubbery that is up is really greened up," says Lori Wirth, spokesperson for the Madison Fire Department.

The launch site is contained on an island, surrounded by water. Pyrotechnicians will be ready to put out any spot fires that could flare up.

The fire department will have medics, an ambulance, and extra fire truck and the brush truck on patrol nearby just in case. Wirth says the department expects a safe show on Saturday.

"It's a professional display. The people that are launching those fireworks know what they're doing, know what the fireworks are going to do," says Wirth.

One thing fire officials want to remind people about is to watch out for any flying debris. Eye injuries are the most common thing they see at the Rhythm and Booms EMS tent.

If you'd like to get involved in Rhythm and Booms, organizers are still looking for volunteers. They need help in the food tent and collecting donations.

Contact the office at 608-819-8888 or email fireworks@tds.Net or mffinc@tds.Net


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