Crews work through heat to bring big Fourth of July shows

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Freedom Fest will be lighting up the Fourth of July sky in the Central Valley, and Daniel Lantis will be the one pushing the buttons.

"I woke up at four this morning and said 'happy Fourth of July!' I never get this holiday off anymore," Lantis said.

The Fresno native and licensed pyrotechnician has been setting off fireworks at Freedom Fest at Clovis High School since 2015. Graduations make it a busy time of year for his profession, but it all leads to Independence Day.

"This is weeks of planning, listening to the same music over and over and get ready for the 4th," he said before the show at Lamonica Stadium.

The Freedom Fest setup crew arrived at Clovis High at about 6 a.m. on Thursday and worked through the heat to make sure everything is perfect.

Lantis says the show will feature about 1,000 shells and will last just over 18 minutes, and organizers say it costs about $30,000 to put on.

"It's a party," said Eddie DeLeon, co-chair of Freedom Fest. He became involved when the celebration started in 1998. Back then, they got about 2,000 people, but DeLeon is expecting 7,000 people at Thursday's event.

Doors open for the event at 5 p.m. and general admission is $5, with kids 5 and under getting in for free. The fireworks show will begin just after 9 p.m.

"Knowing that you just spent seven hours setting up... it's all worth it when you hear that crowd," Lantis said.

For more information on Freedom Fest and what you're allowed to bring, click here.

For a list of all the firework shows around the Valley, click here.
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