2005 Grand Marshals Fireworks Crew
The Erath 4th of July Association is proud to announce selection of
the 2005 Grand Marshals. This year, the Association has selected a total
of 31 people to serve as Grand Marshal. Being honored are all people who
worked to stage the annual Fireworks Show on July 4th.
The Erath 4th of July Celebration Fireworks Show began in 1976, under
the direction of Richard Dubois. The first show cost $1,200.00, and has
continued to grow each year in time and cost. Dubois put together a group
of volunteers to stage the first fireworks show to celebrate our nationís
bicentennial in a grand fashion.
The staging of the fireworks show is a major production. Each year, a crew
of volunteers would meet the week before July 4th at the staging
area. The fireworks were shot in 200 steel mortars, which had to be buried
in the ground. The fireworks crew would dig the trenched, bury, and hand
pack each mortar. The mortars were buried in different section in the
staging area in case of fire. The mortars were then covered with plastic
until the day of show.
The fireworks crew would meet at the staging area around noon time on the day of
July 4th. All the mortars were uncovered, and the actual shots
were uncrated and separated. The average 4th of July Show
consisted of 350-400 shots. The shots fired were divided by size,
beginning with the two inch shots, up to the eight inch shots. Once the
shots were uncrated, the first round of shots was loaded.
Everyone had a job for the show. The jobs included the cleaner, inspector,
loader, and a shooter. The show was shot in rounds. After each
round, each mortar had to be cleaned of all ashes from the previous shot.
The inspector would come with his flashlight to ensure that the mortar was
indeed clean and ready for the next shot. The mortar was then loaded and
ready for the shooter to ignite it for the next round. In times of
inclement weather, the mortars were covered with foil to keep the shot dry until
the time of ignition.
After the tragedies of 9/11, the state and federal governments began increasing
the regulations governing the firing of any explosives, including fireworks.
The new regulations dramatically increased the number of hours of training and
certifications needed in order to stage a fireworks show. These new
regulations made it virtually impossible for volunteers to continue to stage the
show. At that time, the Erath 4th of July Association was
forced to end the long standing tradition of volunteer staging the annual show.
Beginning in 2003, the Association hired a professional company to come in and
stage the show.
Those being honored as Grand Marshal include Richard and Dolores Dubois, Lee
Bernard, Elwood and Claudette Lacour, Wiltz Toups, Brent Perrin, Dewey and
Allison Domingues, Errol Domingues, Edward and Rickey Domingues, Jim Domingues,
Jr., Mark Mencacci, Jonathan Norris, Shelby Bernard, Kevin Bernard, Philippe
Saunier, Roland Girouard, Tina Dubois, John Toups, Eric Toups, Michael
Montgomery, Steven Bares, Leon Reed, Oswald and Ginny Broussard, Robert Moss,
Russ Landry, Charles Toups, and Richard Dubois, Jr.