Finding the best show in the sky

By: Laura Meyers
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Finding the best Fourth of July fireworks show within moderate driving distance shouldn’t be difficult this year. Counting two big shows in Lake Tahoe, there are five fireworks displays to choose from. And with tightening home firework restrictions, it might be best to leave it to the professionals. Professional firework shows compete to set themselves apart from the others by using synchronized soundtracks, world-renowned pyrotechnic crews, and 3D displays. The 48th annual Folsom Pro Rodeo fireworks show is nightly Thursday through Satureday and features Pyro Spectacular, a world-renowned producer and presenter of pyrotechnic displays and shows. Each fireworks show immediately follows the last rodeo activity and lasts approximately 10 minutes. Although the rodeo chose to eliminate aerial fireworks, the show must go on. “I think rodeo-goers are in for a special treat with Pyro Spectacular,” said Sally Howard, Folsom Chamber of Commerce marketing director. “Because of the close proximity it will be great. They are pretty spectacular because we have more money to spend on in- arena fireworks.” The 24th annual Rancho Cordova Fourth of July boasts that it is Sacramento’s largest celebration of the weekend. On July 4-5, the all-day celebrations at Hagan Park kick off at noon and last until the fireworks finale. On both days the all-ariel fireworks display begins at 9:45 p.m. The July 4 lasts 25 minutes. The show on July 5 runs only about 5 minutes. The Rancho Cordova Fourth of July show is free, but parking costs $10. Thinking of spending your Fourth of July at the mall? Probably not, but Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights will be lighting off fireworks immediately following a day of live music and art. They are offering a 3D fireworks show and complimentary viewing glasses starting at 9:40 p.m. The fireworks show is a ‘sky concert’ with a live simulcast with local radio station, 98 Rock. Unlike most July 4th celebrations admission and parking are free. If heading to Lake Tahoe for the weekend you won’t be missing out on any fireworks. Despite fires and strict rules regarding fireworks, there will be fireworks shows on both sides of the lake. On the South Shore, “Lights on the Lake 2008” is a 30-minute display organized by Pyro Spectacular, the same company doing the Folsom Pro Rodeo. Pyrodigital Consultants will be lighting off the first fireworks at 9 p.m. on July 4. The show is synchronized to a soundtrack and will be broadcast on Tahoe radio stations. A crew of fifteen technicians from Pyro Spectacular will crew the firework show. Approximately 3,500 fireworks are arranged to go off. “Company wide we have 500 (Fourth of July) shows from coast to coast,” said Sherry Souza, member of the Pyro Spectacular by Souza family. “We’re very proud of (the South Shore) show. It’s one of the largest shows around.” The spectacle is launched on the water from a barge and features fireworks that create different designs, lights, patterns and shapes. The show can be viewed from various beaches around South Shore such as Nevada Beach, Baldwin Beach, Bijou Community Park, Regan and El Dorado beaches. The Tahoe Queen and M.S. Dixie II, both paddlewheeler boats, offer a unique view of the show from the water on their firework cruises. North Shore offers a fireworks show in Tahoe City starting at 9:30 p.m. on July 4. The show can be viewed from Commons Beach in downtown Tahoe City.