SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Crews are busy gearing up for Wednesday’s big fireworks show at Cal Expo.

Three long months of hard work, strategizing and paper work finally go up in the air at the Cal Expo horse racing track.

“This is a must see show,” said Paul Gillingham, Cal Expo. “It’s the largest fireworks show in the central California area.”

It’s back and ready to wow people.

“Just the massive amount of shells we put in the air, we put 2,500 shells up in the air. A 20 minute segment that will knock your chest in,” said Gillingham.

Gillingham tells CBS13 that the 20 minute show weighs about 2,000 pounds on a truck. That’s all of the gun powder, paper and minerals all added up before it’s laid out.

“It’s four days with 15 people setting up fireworks and shells, and making sure that everything’s right and all the wires go to the right places,” said Gillingham.

But it’s not just the set up process that’s time consuming. The show is also choreographed to music that has to be spot on.

“Never ceases to amaze me, when I’m in the audience over there, how that show comes together, and how awesome it is,” said Gillingham.

And so is the safety of the people watching.

“We’ve set these fireworks up based on a certain distance away from the crowd, so that there is nothing that can happen to the crowd from the fireworks we’re shooting,” said Gillingham.

Gillingham also say’s the fireworks can shoot up to 500 feet in the air that can be seen up to two miles away.

“We get a huge response. There is 12,000 to 15,000 here in the grandstand, and there is 35 if we count all the outline areas; and the people watching from parking lots all the way as far as Arden Fair and around, it’s one of the biggest events in town,” said Gillingham.

If you show up early, there is a concert that is expected at the grandstands beginning at 6:30 p.m. with the fireworks show to begin at 9:30 p.m.

Check out the other fireworks displays in our area in our “Best Of Sacramento” section.


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