Nine hours before the first firework flew a nine person crew from Young Explosives began the setup. "We're going to go real high, we're going to go real big and real bright," said show producer Ian Scott.
Scott has produced Rochester's Fourth of July fireworks show for 16 years. He loves the challenge. "This is a hometown crowd for me," he said. "I'm a native Rochesterian so there's no pressure on that."
Each year Scott takes feedback and makes minor tweaks to dazzle the crowd. "Fifteen minutes of family fun," is how he described it. "Brings out the kid in everybody as the Fourth of July should."
The Abbott and Tripp families of Penfield came downtown for the show, and brought their friends the Gardners who are visiting from Long Island. Brynn Tripp, who just finished the second grade, said she looks forward to the Fourth of July "because of the fireworks, boom, boom, boom!"
Kreg Abbott will enter the fourth grade in the fall. He said there are lots of things to enjoy on the Fourth of July. "I think the best part about it is everybody getting together," said Abbott.
Live music also entertained the crowd on Main Street, which was closed off to traffic. On the heels of the Jazz Fest success, the Fourth of July celebration was another opportunity to showcase Rochester at its best and let everyone enjoy themselves. "That's what a city's for," said Mayor Tom Richards. "That's what we want people to do."
As he surveys the crowd, Richards said we all need to take pause on the Fourth of July and appreciate our independence. "You're life is blessed if you're born in this country and grow up here and live here, so maybe this is a day to remember it."