Redbud Marina is ready to light up the sky over Oologah Lake.
The marina has conducted the fireworks show to celebrate the nation’s birthday for 31 years. Redbud owner Mike Fawcett has run the show for the last 22 years.
Fawcett and his son Michael are both licensed pyro-technicians. The pair will fire off over 670 shells during the 45 minute show.
“Everybody should come early and get a good spot. It should be a good show,” Fawcett said.
The fireworks will start about 9:30 p.m. on July 4. If the show is rained out, it will be rescheduled for Saturday, July 6.
Fawcett said this year’s fireworks display will have more specialty shells. The shells have a multi break, chain reaction effect.
The Fawcetts shoot the fireworks from Overlook Bluff across from Hawthorn Beach. Fawcett said they have about two seconds after lighting a fuse to back up and turn away before the shell fires.
“I’m training my son to take over. I’m getting slow in my old age,” he said.
The shooting area is not very large and Fawcett said they have a limited window to fire the shells through.
“The area to shoot from is so small. There are trees on each side and that limits the angle where we can shoot because we don’t want to get into the trees,” he said. “Because of that we can only light up about half the sky.”
Fawcett is so busy producing the show and lighting the fireworks that he never gets to watch.
“Unfortunately by the time it’s over with all we get to see is tail lights,” he said. “We do hear the cheers and the horns honking and that lets us know the people are enjoying it.”
Fawcett joked that he had a passion for fireworks from the time he came into the world. He was born around midnight on the Fourth of July. His parents had just attended a fireworks show.
Fawcett said the best places to watch the fireworks are on the water or at Hawthorn from the swim beach or picnic areas. There will be no entrance or parking fee at Hawthorn starting at 8 p.m. on the Fourth.
The fireworks are funded entirely through donations. Fawcett said volunteers will be collecting donations before the show.
“If we don’t raise enough we cover the difference,” Fawcett said.