HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The US Space and Rocket Center will again put on its fireworks show as a gift to the community Tuesday at 9 PM.
The crew in charge has been setting up all day by the Davidson Center, but it has taken so much more to prepare for this big day.
"This show at the Space and Rocket Center has been a year in planning," said Lynn Broad, Master Pyrotechnician of Pyro Shows of Alabama. "There is nothing better for me than to be shooting those shells for everyone to enjoy, including myself!"
This will be Broad's 36th Fourth of July providing shows in the sky. He said this time at the US Space and Rocket Center, the goal was to be bigger and better than in years past. He advises this is one you don't want to miss.
"We decided that we would up the product a bit, come up with some new things. That's what I hope the audience will look for tonight," he explained. "You'll see some new geometric patterns in the sky that you maybe haven't seen before. Look for the butterfly with purple eyes several times."
He added this display is run by a computer and will be pretty powerful.
"The computer has 300 cues. Each cue can run up to 10 pieces of product, so it's a fairly large show," he said.
The shells will fly from 250 feet to more than 600 feet in the air. It will be so high that Broad said the company had to get special permission from the TVA and from Redstone Arsenal.
"We are pushing twice the height of the Saturn V, which is one reason we went with the big product. We really wanted to get it up there," said Broad.
It is hot outside. Broad said he has crews around the Tennessee Valley setting up three different shows, and each crew takes frequent breaks to get out of the heat. But they are also looking out for their safety as they put on the show. His crew at the USSRC will wear protective gear like helmets and flame resistant sleeves. They will also leave a safe distance between themselves and the fireworks as they are fired.
Broad wants this to be a show to remember.
"I am a patriot, have always been a patriot," he said. "I grew up in the military. So for me, it's just one way to share the great independence we have here in the USA."
Parking for the event
Calhoun Community College officials said the Huntsville campus will provide parking for $10 per vehicle starting at 6:30 p.m. All proceeds from this event will go to support Calhoun scholarships and student organizations volunteering to work during the event.
Parking may be accessed from either Wynn Drive or Warhawk Way. For those spectators wishing to bring folding chairs or blankets, space will be available on the college’s front lawn.
Those planning to park at the College on July 4th are encouraged to have correct change.
Alcohol, firearms, fireworks and glass containers will not be permitted on the property.
To ensure the safety of those on campus that evening, Calhoun campus police as well as off-duty HPD officers will be present.
US Space and Rocket Center logistics tonight
According to USSRC leaders, the Rocket Center will close at 5 p.m.
The city's largest fireworks display launches at 9 p.m.
They need to close the parking lot in front of the Davidson Center for Space Exploration to make that happen. Very limited parking will be available in the main lot at the museum.
Police urge you not to attempt to view the show from the interstate below.