Burlington celebrates Independence Day

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) This year’s July 3rd fireworks show in Burlington was another success. The celebration is held every year on the day before Independence Day on the Lake Champlain waterfront.

Nearly 40,000 people showed up to watch one of the most entertaining performances of the year.

"I’m very excited. This is one of the best nights of the year for downtown Burlington," said Michael Morrissey, who visited from Shelburne to see the fireworks.

Melina Nelson, who was visiting from Brattleboro, said her favorite fireworks were the ones that shoot rapidly.

The show was put on by Northstar Fireworks. Richard Swenson, the director of marketing, told WCAX News the show consisted of 4,000 fireworks. He said the Northstar Fireworks team carefully choreographed the show for 364 days. They also got help from a company in China.

"We spent a lot of time over in China working with the Chinese on getting more vibrant colors and more quality shells," he said. "There’s a lot of research that goes into finding the right mix of chemicals."

Wednesday night’s show went smoothly, but just weeks ago, Swenson and his team almost had to make last-minute changes. That’s because the lake levels were about two feet too high and the breakwater, where they launch the fireworks, was partially underwater.

"We were contemplating whether we were going to have to design a different show using a couple of other barges and systems to use to make it safe for everybody but still put on a great show," Swenson said.

According to Swenson, the water receded to 97 feet just in time for the show and they were able to put on the original program.