Fireworks shells exploded over downtown Rockford on the 4th of May, two full months before the 4th of July.
Every year, Mr. Fourth of July, Joe Marino, promises a bigger and better fireworks show than the last, and every year he delivers. But this year, a new launching site could mean a major show upgrade, and that’s why officials went out to test it out.
Loud explosions boomed as Melrose Pyrotechnics launched test shells into the air in preparation for Rockford’s 4th of July Fireworks Show, under the watchful eye of Rockford Fire officials and Marino himself.
“It’s going to be quite a show,” said Marino.
That’s in part because of a new proposed launching site on S. Main Street. It’s now owned by the city, is spacious, and fully fenced, which makes the site more secure, but also allows for the use of larger shells, which means more spectacular fireworks. But, it’s only viable if shells fired from the location can be seen key points in downtown.
“We have to have visibility and we have to have height,” said Marino.
“So, we have people staged at a couple of different viewing areas,” said Fire Prevention Coordinator Timothy Morris. “Three areas down by the river… to see what the citizens would see and make sure that everything they do on the 4th of July is going to look and work well.”
Rockford Fire officials are also looking out for any potential hazards, well in advance of the show.
“If this site is to work, it’s better to have it planned out now in the early spring than at the last minute,” said Morris.
Ultimately, the 4th of July Committee will decide the final launching site based on these tests. Marino is hoping it will give the already awesome annual display even more bang than before.
“It’s an attempt to make our show more visible and more attractive to the Rockford community,” said Marino.
You can watch the show live on WTVO and simulcast on Fox 39 on the 4th of July.