• Inside the fireworks barge on Seattle's Lake Union

    By: Chris Legeros


    SEATTLE - Bob Gobet and his crew from Western Display Fireworks spent Thursday on board a 280-foot barge in the middle of Lake Union.  

    They were very carefully preparing 10,000 to 12,000 pounds of explosives for the Seafair Summer July 4th Celebration. He lifted a 10-inch shell from its launch tube.

    “This one is a strobe, a silver strobe,” he said.

    He explained that once it is fired, spectators circling Lake Union will see stars that kind of flash in a dense silver. 

    There are thousands of fireworks being set up on the barge, ranging from 3 to 10 inches in diameter. 

    Since the barge itself is bigger than one used last year by Gobet, he’s got more room to work with.  That mean he can set charges farther apart that will shoot in a wider pattern, and cover more of the sky. 

    The explosives will be triggered by computer commands that are choreographed to music. 

    Gobet said he is so focused on safety and on controlling the show that it’s hard to just sit back and enjoy the display while it is going on. 

    “Afterwards, when you see the actual video of it, then it’s neat, but when we’re doing it, I got something to do,” he said.

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