Crew Prepares For Rain At NWA Mall Fireworks Show

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) - Firework shows are a traditional way to celebrate the 4th of July.

For some fireworks companies, the holiday is the busiest time of the year.

Jerry Martin owns Hog Wild Pyro, the company behind many of the big shows in Northwest Arkansas.

His business is run by family, and friends, all who have extensive training in handling the explosives.

“One shell could take your head off,” Martin said.

The possibility for accidents is why everyone works in teams.

“One is taking care of the other. One is watching out for the other, to make sure things are going the way they need to go,” Martin said.

Organizers said they design the show with the spectators in mind.

“Women, they like the color. And, they like the long duration shots,” Martin said. “The guys, they like loud [fireworks.] They like the big bang, and the boom.”

The team carefully placed each explosive by hand, wiring them one-by-one.

Hog Wild Pyro also prepared for any weather that may hinder the show.

“The rain is our enemy,” Martin said.

To prevent rain from ruining the fireworks, each set is covered.

“We put plastic on top, and the shell goes right through it,” Martin said. “The show will definitely go on.”

The team put in more than eight hours of setup, all for a show that lasts less than 30 minutes.

“There is a lot of hard work that goes into it,” said Lauren Behl, a worker for Hog Wild Pyro. “But, the 30 minutes you are actually shooting them off, is really gratifying.”

“It can be very nerve-wracking. Because it is a live show, and nothing goes exactly to plan,” Behl said. “So, you kind of have to roll with the punches.”

At the end of the day, the crew said they ultimately get the best seats for the show.

“You can feel the concussion from those shells when they go up,” Martin said. “You can feel the heat from them. The ‘oohs,’ and the ‘ahhs,’ of everyone watching it, it makes it worth it.”