Laurel Prepares For Fireworks Show - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Laurel Prepares For Fireworks Show

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LAUREL, Mont. -

Fourth of July is coming up next Thursday, and many cities across the U.S. are preparing to celebrate with fireworks. The Yellowstone Valley region is no exception, as Laurel continues to prepare for its decades-long fireworks tradition.

"They give up so much time away from their families, working for me and responding to fires, and then to turn around, in the last month. They dumped so many hours into putting the show together," said Laurel Fire Chief Brent Peters. The city's fire department is hosting 2013's fireworks display at Thompson Park.

"It's tradition, and we enjoy it! I mean, who doesn't like blowin' stuff up?" said Assistant Fire Chief Kent Kulesa.

After a day of festivities, the firefighters will get the firework started at night.

"I expect a lot of people. I expect it to be hot, and I expect the best fireworks show we ever put on," said Brent.

"This year, we're gonna put up about a thousand to probably 1,500 more shells than we did last year," said Kent.

This year, firefighters are giving people a chance to send the first shells into the sky.

"If you wanna take the chance and buy a five-dollar ticket, you can have a chance to maybe push the button to shoot the very first shot of the firework show," said Kent.

For Brent, the fireworks are more than just a show. It is a very personal experience.

"I've been going to this show since I was a kid. I can remember laying of the grass at Thompson Park and watching the show. At that time, it was just a few hundred to a thousand shots," said Brent.

The show has since grown. For fire officials involved, however, they are simply happy people will be able to enjoy the show on Thursday.

"When I see the little kids smiling, that's what it's all about," said Kent.

Firefighters are still trying to raise money, but they say they are confident they can raise an additional $20,000 by next Thursday. Donations are accepted at the city's fire station, and the city's police and fire dispatch center.