Behind Albany's firework spectacular - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Behind Albany's firework spectacular

The Albany fireworks team started setting up for Tuesday's celebration at 5 a.m. (Source: WALB) The Albany fireworks team started setting up for Tuesday's celebration at 5 a.m. (Source: WALB)
Dale Henry has been helping out with the Albany fireworks show for 28 years. (Source: WALB) Dale Henry has been helping out with the Albany fireworks show for 28 years. (Source: WALB)
Kristin Caso, Albany's Rec. & Parks Special Events Coordinator organized Albany's 4th of July celebration. (Source: WALB) Kristin Caso, Albany's Rec. & Parks Special Events Coordinator organized Albany's 4th of July celebration. (Source: WALB)
Dale Henry tested out the switches to ignite the fireworks on Tuesday morning. (Source: WALB) Dale Henry tested out the switches to ignite the fireworks on Tuesday morning. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

As people gather in downtown Albany to watch the 4th of July Fireworks, one man was is making sure the show goes off with a big bang.

One by one, Dale Henry tested out the switches to ignite the fireworks on Tuesday morning.

"For the small stuff we still light some of them by hand. It's a lot of fun," said Henry.

Henry has had lots of practice.

He's been helping out with the show for 28 years.

In 2001 he took over as the head of operations. 

"When I get ready to quit this, I'm going to have to figure out what I'm going to do on the fourth of July," said Henry.

"He is so much fun to work with. I personally think he's a closet pyromaniac," said Kristin Caso, Albany's Recreation & Parks Special Events Coordinator.

Each year Henry starts planning for the show in February, picking out the best fireworks to buy.

He talks with various crews to talk about setup.

They started working at 5:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.

"What we do is take all of the boards and test them. We already did all these to make sure they are hot," said Henry. 

Henry spent lots of time planning how the show will look. He made sure people who watch every year see something they haven't before. 

"Every year he tries to create a new and different show. You are never going to get the same thing from him twice," said Caso.

Henry said this year's show was one he's really proud of. 

"It's going to be probably close to 1,400 aerial shells and then 11,000 to 1,200 on the ground," said Henry.

While spectators watch from afar, Henry will be running around on top of the bridge making sure each firework goes off at just the right time. 

"He usually looks like a chimney sweep by the time he finishes with the evening," said Caso.

Henry said it's worth it to put on a great show.

"We burn up out here but hey, it is what it is" said Henry.

This year's show lasted about 25 to 28 minutes.

It will start at dusk and all of the fireworks play to music. 

There are still plenty of spots to choose from on the grass, so now is the time to come down. 

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