Fireworks show can be enjoyed safely |

Fireworks show can be enjoyed safely

Merlyn Oliver, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Leave the beer at home. Get ready for gridlock. Don’t play with fireworks. And enjoy the show.

That’s the message officials want to get across to the public this Fourth of July.

“We’re hoping we have voluntary cooperation from the public like we did for New Year’s,” said Lance Modispacher, public information officer for the Douglas County Sheriff’s office. “We arrested very few people that night. We want people to be part of the celebration instead of the problem.”

Assuming the Gondola Fire does not force it’s cancellation, the fireworks show will begin Thursday at about 9:45 p.m. and last about 40 minutes. Viewing should be especially good from Bijou to Nevada Beach, officials said. The fireworks will be launched from three barges situated on the lake off the casino corridor between Edgewood Golf Course and Ski Run Marina.

“Anybody who is along the beach can look off to the northeast and see them,” South Lake Tahoe police sergeant Rick Canale said. “The beaches are going to be crowded. People will need to be patient. There’s going to be some gridlock.”

Obviously, officials are stressing fire safety.

The ban on fireworks includes sparklers, cherry bombs and ladyfingers, Modispacher said.

“People need to be aware. We want everyone to safely get there, have a great time, and safely get home.”

Drivers should plan ahead for packed roads. Modispacher said deputies will be on bicycles in the casino corridor so they can respond to calls.

On the lake, a 1,000-foot perimeter will be set up around the barges that will carry the fireworks.

“That’s about three football fields wide, and it will be strictly enforced,” Modispacher said. “Boaters need to be aware that it will be black out there. You’ll need your running lights so others can see you.”

Deputies from both El Dorado and Douglas Counties are reminding people to designate a driver for their boat or car.

At Nevada Beach in Douglas County, checkpoints will be set up to ensure that no alcohol is brought in all day.

“If you park on Elk Point Road or in the Round Hill parking lot and carry your 100-pound ice chest down, we’ll ask you to haul it back,” Modispacher said.

The show will be synchronized to music broadcast on radio stations KRLT 93.9 FM and KOWL 1490 AM.

This year’s display will showcase some new fireworks and different themes, said Steve Souza of Pyrospectaculars, the company that provides the fireworks.

“We’ll have a brocade waterfall that actually looks like a waterfall, with blond and silver streamers,” Souza said. “You’ll see a Hawaiian theme, with palm trees that start as a golden trunk and break into palm fronds. We’ll have shells that come up and break into a happy face.”

The show was designed by Ken Nixon of Pyrodigital Consultants, who used a sophisticated software package to correlate it to music. He’ll be 500 feet away inside a World War II amphibious vehicle using a computerized firing system to run the show.

“We try to make it dynamic,” Nixon said. “But we have soft parts as well. We’ll have some with a delicate strobing effect that fall very slowly from 300 feet up. We’ll have lots of the big umbrella canopies that last for 10 seconds. You need to have the lows in order to have the highs. It’ll be patriotic but have other themes as well. Just an enjoyable show.”

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