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Setup begins for Roanoke's fireworks show; what to expect from the performance

City officials urge people to take shuttles down to watch location

ROANOKE, Va. – The Thursday night sky over Roaoke will be filled with fireworks for the city's annual Fireworks on the Fourth show. Numerous city officials are working together to make it happen.

For something that's destined for one thing, and one thing only, there's a whole lot of percision involved just to make it go boom.

"These shows that are occuring, they're permitted, they're reviewed by the local fire official, they're run by reputable companies so our first preference is that people do that," Roanoke City Fire Marshal David Guynn said.

Guynn encourages everyone to forgo the driveway fireworks in favor of a professional show like the city's.

Thursday night they'll launch more than 2,000 shells with 50 plus different types of fireworks to dazzle the crowds. It took weeks of preparation to get to this point.

"Working with parks and recreation, with transportation, emergency management, police department just making sure everything that's in the permit is correct and making sure we're doing everything to keep people safe," Guynn said.

Crews will setup for more than 12 hours to make the 15 minute sow happen. Guynn is another set of eyes to make sure everything goes right. The grand finale has 600 shells and they'll all go off in just 10 seconds.

After it's all done, they'll tear it all down and be on their way, but not without leaving a trail of smiles behind.

"Right before the shoot they will do a test shot so they can gauge the wind and then hopefully at about nine fifteen tomorrow night we'll be all good and waiting for our cue," Guynn said.

City officials are expecting thousands of people to attend so they want people to use shuttle services whenever possible. The show begins promtply at 9:15 p.m.

Valley Metro will be offering a free shuttle service from Patrick Henry High School starting at 6:45 p.m. The shuttles will drop off at Evans Mill Road near the River’s Edge Park tunnel, right beside the fireworks show. Fourteen Valley Metro buses will run between the pick-up and drop-off locations continuously until the last bus leaves Patrick Henry High School at 9:00 p.m. sharp. Shuttles running back to Patrick Henry High School from the park will resume after the show and stop running at approximately 10:30 p.m.