Duck Creek Fireworks Show draws in more than $144,000 in donations this year

Duck Creek Fireworks Show draws in more than $144,000 in donations this year
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With more than $144,000 in donations and over 1,500 shells, the Duck Creek Fireworks Show at Grand Lake is the largest fireworks display in the state of Oklahoma.

Those who spend the holiday at Grand Lake say there is nothing like the atmosphere of a fireworks show on the water.

“You’ll never see anything like it anywhere else,” said Keli Elkins, spectator.

“It’s spectacular,” said Brogan Tyler, spectator. “It’s incredible. I recommend it to everyone.”

“Phenomenal, it’s phenomenal,” said Joe Harwood, show coordinator.

Harwood, who has coordinated the show on Duck Creek for nearly 30 years, says the show draws thousands each year.

“There’s not one single taxpayer dollar in it,” he said. “It’s all donated money by individuals. There are approximately 300 people that donated the $144,000 to make it possible.”

Organizers say the 37-minute show takes more than a week of setting up on barges and a year’s worth of preparation.

“It’s very time consuming,” said Ken Schultz, A.M. Pyrotechnics, LLC. “It takes us about 5 days to set up for a show of this size. The firework industry has a very long wait time, sometimes things have to be ordered in, so to get all that together, it does take about a year.”

Schultz says it took 2 miles of wiring to set up the 1,500 shells, many of which were custom made just for the show.

All were launched using a computer system.

“The radio station is actually the one that initiates the show with some sort of special code that’s built into the music that synchronizes it to the show,” Schultz said.

Some shells span a radius in the sky of a diameter of at least 1,000 feet.

This year’s show brought in more donations than previous years, which had spectators looking forward to an even bigger show than last year.

“It’s a lot of people, a big, big crowd,” said Greg Owens, marina manager at Arrowhead Yacht Club & Marina.

“There is nowhere else I would rather be on the 4th of July,” Elkins said.

“I’m ecstatic,” Tyler said. “I can’t wait.”

Organizers say they are already gearing up for next year.

“We’ve got a great start on the 2015 show,” Harwood said.

“I expect that it’s going to be even bigger next year,” Schultz said.

The tradition of fireworks at Duck Creek began shortly after WWII.

Tonight’s show also included a traditional air show fly-over featuring several WWII Air Birds.