Fort Worth's Fourth Fireworks Ready for a Bang

Show expected to be even bigger than years past

What is a Fourth of July celebration without fireworks? Not much.

And this Friday night's Fort Worth Fourth show promises to be something you've never seen before, if you ask the man behind the trigger, Mike Wagner.

Last year's show was certainly memorable, even though it had to be stopped half way through due to safety concerns.

"If you didn't stay for the whole show you missed the best half," Wagner said. "Their shells were a little dirty, they came back down and caused a few fires. Pretty dry around here."

It isn't as dry this year near Panther Island Pavilion and Wagner doesn't have any Japanese-made shells like last year. But the owner of Mansfield-based Extreme Pyrotechnics promises to step it up on Friday night.

"It'll definitely get warm at this show," he said. "People will talk about this one for a while when this one's over."

Wagner's company is doing 175 fireworks shows across the country this week, but Fort Worth's Fourth is his pet project.

"I've spent the entire last year planning this thing and developing things for it and we're still working on things right now that aren't completely finished and they will be in time for the show," Wagner said.

The years worth of planning will take four or five days to set up, all for 27 minutes of fireworks on Friday night. A show that will have some secrets going in.

"Can't tell you its an Ancient Chinese Secret," Wagner joked.

All kidding aside, Wagner told us you can expect to see American-made fireworks during a section of the show, which is perfectly synched to music.

"When you see them go off you'll know, that's not from China, that's from here," Wagner said.

But whether you're watching from the Panther Island Pavilion beach or in a VIP tent, Wagner says you shouldn't look away, not even for a second.

"I wouldn't, I know I'm not going to be," he said.

And neither will the more than 70,000 people expected at Friday's holiday festival on the river.

NBC 5 is a proud sponsor of the event, with gates opening up at 2 p.m. and the fireworks show at 10 p.m.

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