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December 19, 2014

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Fireworks show producer strives for lofty ‘best ever’ display

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Christopher DeVargas

Chief pyrotechnician for Grucci’s of New York, Robert Inga, rigs shells for Texas Stations’ July 4th fireworks show, Tuesday July 3, 2012.

July 4th Firework Preparation

Chris Wasco, pyrotechnician for Grucci's of New York, is rigging shells for Texas Stations' July 4th fireworks show, Tuesday July 3, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Station Casino Fireworks

  • Fireworks display will start at five Station Casinos at 9 p.m. Independence Day. Each casino will have designated viewing areas, but officials advise people to show up early to claim their spot. The viewing areas are as follows:
  • • Aliante Station: main casino parking lot on the corner of Aliante Parkway and Elkhorn Road (Music will be broadcast on KDWN AM720)
  • • Fiesta Rancho: parking garage rooftop (Music via KOAS 105.7 FM)
  • • Green Valley Ranch: Paseo Verde Garage roof or the main casino parking lot (Music via KCYE 102.7 FM)
  • • Red Rock Resort: Parking lot at corner of Charleston Boulevard and Pavilion Center Drive (Music via KKLZ 96.3 FM)
  • • Texas Station: Lot C at the corner of Rancho Drive and Lake Mead Boulevard (Music via KVGS 107.9 FM)

For nine minutes Wednesday evening, the sky above Texas Station in Las Vegas will be lit up in a spectrum of vivid reds, whites and blues as hundreds of shells are fired from the roof of a nearby parking garage.

The fireworks display will serve as a patriotic wrap-up to the Fourth of July for many valley residents, but for the technicians from Grucci’s of New York, the nine-minute show will be the culmination of hundreds of hours of planning, choreographing and set-up.

“We want everybody to walk away going ‘That’s the best show I’ve ever seen,’” said Larry Goetz, a producer with Grucci’s of New York.

The set-up at Texas Station, and at four other Station Casinos properties around the valley, began over the weekend.

On Tuesday, a handful of workers toiled underneath the hot desert sun as they rigged together 62 firing batteries – each pointed in a precisely calibrated angle – with more than 9 miles of wiring.

The shells inside each battery are comprised of black gunpowder and powdered metals that color the fireworks and add effects.

Come show time, a technician will man the firing station and work his way through the 305 firing cues for the show, which are synchronized with music that viewers can listen to over the radio.

Lori Nelson, spokeswoman for Station Casinos, said this year’s musical accompaniment is set around the theme “love,” to tie in with the company’s “We Love Locals” campaign.

“We love fireworks,” Nelson said. “We’ve tasked the Grucci’s this year with creating something bigger and better than years past.”

The fireworks display will start at five Station Casinos at 9 p.m. Wednesday. Each casino will have designated viewing areas, but Nelson advised people to show up early to claim their spot.

“Give yourself plenty of time so you can avoid that last-minute rush,” she said.

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