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Sat, July 20

Finishing touches put on Prescott’s fireworks display

Southwest Fireworks employees Connor Ford, left, Doug Crumpton, center, and Kevin Massalone set up fireworks on a barge at Prescott’s Watson Lake on Wednesday morning, July 3.  (Cindy Barks/Courier)

Southwest Fireworks employees Connor Ford, left, Doug Crumpton, center, and Kevin Massalone set up fireworks on a barge at Prescott’s Watson Lake on Wednesday morning, July 3. (Cindy Barks/Courier)

As fireworks mortars were loaded onto an awaiting barge this week, buzz continued to build for Prescott’s first on-the-water July 4 fireworks.

Dozens of kayakers, canoers and runners passed by Wednesday morning to take a look at the ongoing progress, as employees with Southwest Fireworks of Scottsdale unloaded a truckload of fireworks at Watson Lake.

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Southwest Fireworks employees Mark Staggs, left, Kevin Massalone and Doug Crumpton work Wednesday morning to set up the fireworks for Prescott’s July 4 event at Watson Lake. (Cindy Barks/Courier)

“There’s more buzz for the fireworks this year than there has been in three or four years,” Steve Gottlieb of Eagle Management and Events, said Wednesday morning.

The Southwest Fireworks employees arrived in a moving truck early Wednesday, and they spent hours at Watson’s main boat dock loading the waiting barge with mortars and fireworks.

The barge, which had been stored at the Watson Lake dam for weeks, was moved to the boat dock on Tuesday in preparation for the Fourth of July fireworks display.

On the morning of the Fourth, the barge will be moved to the middle of the lake, where the fireworks will be launched.

Mark Davies, a retired airline pilot who works with Southwest Fireworks owner Don Nelson in delivering and setting up the fireworks displays, said Prescott’s on-the-water fireworks display is unique among other July 4 shows in the region.

“I don’t know of any others” that are launching from a barge, Davies said.

Gottlieb, whose company is contracted by the city to conduct the July 4 event, said the fireworks display should last 24 to 26 minutes, beginning at about 8:55 p.m.

The show is planned to get started with a prerecorded reading of the “Hotshot Prayer” by Brendan McDonough, the surviving member of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew, 19 of whom died fighting the June 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire.

The prayer will be followed by 19 single purple shots into the air, one at a time, in honor of the fallen 19.

After a poignant pause, the fireworks show will get started, featuring a variety of 8-inch mortars and other smaller sizes. Live patriotic music will accompany the fireworks, provided by the 108th Army Band.

More details of the admission fees and parking for the fireworks display and the afternoon July 4 events are available at: https://www.dcourier.com/news/2019/jul/01/fireworks-water-prescott-prepares-watson-lake-four/.

The City of Prescott announced a new development as of Wednesday afternoon: “There will be a complimentary hydration station including bottled water and gifts, sponsored by Patterson Orthodontics.”

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