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  • Catfish Charlies
  • Coconut Cove
  • CS Technologies
  • Dubuque Yardarm
  • Hodge Company
  • Kwik Stop/Dairy Queen/Fazoli’s
  • Prudential Retirement
  • Willenborg Plumbing and Heating

In-Kind Sponsors

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Anatomy of a Firework

firework_diagram_1Each shell contains an assortment of “stars” – each about the size and shape of a jawbreaker – laid out in a precise order to produce a specific pattern. If the stars are out of position – even 1/16 of an inch – the pattern of the firework will be affected.

firework_diagram_2Multi-break shells consist of more than one chamber, separated by cardboard disks and ignited by time fuses. Each chamber has its own bursting charge that lights and throws out the stars. The container must burst open with tremendous force; the longer shell can resist the explosion, the bigger the display will be.

firework_diagram_3Electrical charges ignite a fuse that fires a lift charge, which blows the shell out of its steel pipe anchored in the sand. The blast also lights a time fuse at the shell’s base.

The Shells

The 34-minute display features 2684 shells 30% of which will be fired during the final three minutes of the show.

firework_diagram_4a Height of Explosion Shell Diameter firework_diagram_6
1,000-1,300 ft. 12 inches
10 inches
800-1,000 ft. 8 inches
400-600 ft. 6 inches
300-400 ft. 4 inches
3 inches
Fireworks explode every 1.5 to 2.5 seconds during the main part of the show and every 1/2 second to one second during the final three minutes, the grand finale.

A firework travels for 3.1 to 7.5 seconds before bursting in the sky. The amount of black powder (made from potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulfur) and the length of the time fuse determines how high the shell travels and when it will explode. After bursting, a firework may remain visible for two to five seconds.

The six-to-twelve inch shells are fired from over 50 barrels filled with sand, which supports the 35-pound stell mortars that hold the shells. The three- and four-inch shells, which are strictly noisemakers and explode close to the ground, are fire during the grand finale from wooden crates and racks.

I Am The Flag

I am the flag of the United States of America.
My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world’s tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America’s halls of justice.
I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
I stand guard with power in the world. Look up and see me.

I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice.
I stand for freedom, I am confident, I am arrogant, I am proud.
When I am flown with my fellow banners,
my head is a little higher, my colors a little truer.

I bow to no one! I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshipped, I am saluted.
I am loved, I am revered. I am respected and I am feared.

I have fought in every battle of every war for more than 200 years.
I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Shiloh and Appomattox.

I was there at San Juan Hill, the trenches of France,
in the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome and the beaches of
Normandy, Guam, Okinawa, Korea and Khe Sahn, Saigon, Vietnam
knows me, I was there!

I led my troops, I was dirty, battle-tested and tired,
but my soldiers cheered me and I was proud.

America has been attacked by cowardly fanatics
And many lives have been lost
But those who would destroy me cannot win
For I am the symbol of freedom. Of one nation under God
Indivisible With liberty and justice for all.

I have been burned, torn and trampled on the streets of countries
I have helped set free. It does not hurt, for I am invincible.

I have been soiled upon, burned, torn and trampled>
on the streets of my own country.
And when it’s by those whom I’ve served in battle it hurts.
But I shall overcome for I am strong.

I have slipped the bonds of Earth and stood watch over the
uncharted frontiers of space
from my vantage point on the moon.
I have borne silent witness to all of America’s finest hours.
But my finest hours are yet to come.

When I am torn into strips and used as bandages
for my wounded comrades on the battlefield,
When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier,
Or when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent
at the grave of their fallen son or daughter, I am proud!


May we never forget.