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I am Ann Zeise, your guide to the best and most interesting and useful sites and articles about Milpitas and Silicon Valley on the web.

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Fireworks Set-Up

A lot of work goes into setting up the fireworks display on the 4th of July. Pyro Spectaculars is a very active company that hires professionally licensed "pyros" to manage the display set-up. They usually have a crew of friendly volunteers who turn out to help with various aspects of the two-day process.

The Zeise family has now helped out twice. Here are some photos of the whole gang working on the non-explosive part on July 3rd, which is why you'll see some children.

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Setting up sandboxes and the tubes to contain the fireworks

First sandboxes are set up. These are held together with metal stakes and cotter pins for fast set-up and take down.

For the most part, the tubes are made of the PVC-type material used to make drains for your home plumbing, though a few were made of iron and were quite heavy. They had diameters of 3", 4", 5", and 6".

These are set up in a specific order in each box, well away from the sides and each other. They are inspected for any debris left from a previous display. 

The finale fireworks are in their own green containers in the background of this photo.

Jim getting set to drive the cat off the trainer Jim Mcworter figures out how to get the little cat off of its trailer: dive forward verrrrryyyy slooooowly and let it tip.
Using the cat to dump sand over the fireworks tubes Covers are placed over the tubes to keep sand from getting into them.
Carefully dumping the sand as volunteers hold the lids o the tubes After the first dump, it was decided to have a group of volunteers hold the tops on while the sand was carefully shoveled out by hand.
Young and old help pack the sand

Packing the sand in tightly was something young an old could do ...and sometimes the young were better at it.

Jim came around and made sure the tubes were all far enough apart and tilted just correctly so the fireworks would go off over the field and not behind us or toward where the crowd would be.

Removing the lids for the next set

Ready to move the lids over to the next box of tubes.

The building in the background is part of KLA Tencor, which makes semiconductor equipment. Both they and Quantum (now Maxtor) were nice about letting us and the evening crowd use their parking lots.

It is doubtful this field will be around for many more 4th fireworks display.

Fireworks ready to go, foil over the tubes

July 4th, the fireworks all wired up and in their foil-covered tubes. Should a live one not go off, the foil would serve as a warning. The afternoon is wearing down and we take a break for dinner before the show will start. Note the white bee-hive boxes back against the levy. We were a little nervous about disturbing the bees.

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Ann Zeise
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