LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – The sun may have been shining over La Crosse on Friday, but the water levels remained high—as the shoreline at Pettibone Park was flooded.
The shoreline is usually where the La Crosse Skyrockers set up their fireworks for the 4th of July, but they had to make some changes before Friday night's big show, as the high water limited their work space in half.
“We usually shoot on the front shore along the water, but this year, the front shore is kind of up in the park,” La Crosse Skyrockers Public Relations Director Jonathan Vermes said.
The high water didn't stop the Skyrockers from prepping up Friday night's big show. “The water is far enough away from where we set up the gun placements where it won't affect our show and our product. The water is falling, not rising, so that's not a concern either,” Vermes said.
Skyrockers President Pat Bonadurer said their group was “having a little trouble” on Friday morning setting up stuff, as they had to set up their fireworks inside the park—but safety remains their top concern.
“Fireworks are explosives. You're trying to make explosives and using that explosion in a good manner. We want it to be up in the sky and not coming right at us,” Bonadurer said.
Bonadurer said the hard work is important to him, because it's all about providing a show for La Crosse—and because his daughter was born on the 4th of July as well. “When they work, there is something beautiful in the sky. I think it's magical. People really relate to fireworks. Kids love them, families love them,” Bonadurer said.
Pettibone Park will be closed on Friday to the public because of the Skyrockers setup. Vermes said the best spot to enjoy Friday night's fireworks are at the Riverfest grounds.