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 July 4th 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.

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