WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — We spend the Fourth of July in Wheeling admiring the fireworks that light up the sky – BUT have we ever taken a moment to admire the work that goes into setting them off? 

Garrett Pugh, the lead pyrotechnician for the American Fireworks Company, says that this is a job where one night requires up to a year of preparation. 

It looks a lot different than the firecrackers you set off in your driveway. 

Each set of cardboard casings are strung together by a wire that is sensitive enough to be set off by a double A battery. 

Once they are hooked up to the electronic boxes – everything can be controlled with the touch of a button. 

Garrett also says that the hours of work in the hot summer sun for the last few days are all worth it in the end. 

“The best part for me is just the crowd’s reaction. It makes me feel a little bit better. It gets kind of stressful in the couple hours up before the show, you know, just making sure everything goes perfect and so, when it’s finally over with and you hear that crowd applause and the roar – it’s definitely a good feeling.”

Garrett Pugh – Lead Pyrotechnician for the American Fireworks Company

Preparations are in order to make sure that all of the electronic cues are set for the most successful outcome. 

He says that everyone can expect this show to be the biggest firework show that Wheeling has had in the last few years, with lots of special effects along with the classic fireworks that everyone loves. 

When you’re watching the beautiful fireworks tonight, you’ll have a little insight into the hard work that goes into this special night.