SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Fourth of July is just around the corner and hundreds of pounds of fireworks are being put together on West Beach in Santa Barbara.
Even before the fireworks are loaded, mortar racks are measured, nailed and placed on the sand.
Rodney Bollinger had been setting up fireworks since 1967 and has put together Santa Barbara's show on and off for 15 years.
"It's hard to believe that much time has gone by," he said.
Safety is key when working with more than 700 pounds of fireworks that are a part of this year's display.
"Most of the hazards are when you're setting them off. The shells are made to come out of the gun at 300-400 miles an hour," Bollinger explained.
That is why a 4-foot sand birm has been created that surrounds all of the pyrotechnics. If something doesn't go off as planned, instead of possibly shooting out into the crowd, it will be stopped in its tracks.
Bollinger said all of the hard work pays off when the sky is lit up for thousands of people to see.
"Anytime Fourth of July falls on a three day weekend it really boosts the crowd attendance and we're really looking forward to it. The only thing we would caution the public about is that fireworks are illegal in the city, please come and enjoy the show, don't bring sparklers and fireworks. And for boaters, please don't discharge emergency flairs as your own personal fireworks. It's illegal and it's dangerous," said Mick Kronman, the harbor operations manager.
The City of Santa Barbara hopes that the 22 minutes of fireworks will keep people from lighting their own. The entire show costs $42,000 and is paid for the by the Waterfront Department.
"It's worth every penny of it. I think the community would agree," said Kronman.
The Spirit of '76 annual parade on State Street starts at 1 p.m. and the fireworks show starts promptly at 9 p.m.Slideshow: 700 Pounds Of Fireworks Set Up On West Beach