Tichigan Lake Fireworks Display  
Loading up the barges with racks of cannisters
Fireworks Barge
Fireworks Barges

Barge loaded
All loaded - waiting for the boat to pull the
barges away from shore.

Barge in tow
We've got our tow - pulling the barges
further into the lake.
When the fireworks display was launched from the shores of Dooley's, Ray Trzesniewski,Jr. from J & M Displays would notify Barb in advance on how many 2 x 4s were needed along with the number of barrels, sandbags and yards of sand. The 2 x 4s were used to prop up "special displays," the loose sand was shoveled into the barrels to set up the 8, 10 and even some 12 inch shell canisters, while bags of sand were used to support the "racks" of canisters which were setup along the shoreline. Local people from the area donated the loose sand and sandbags.

The day after the fireworks was "clean-up day" which was done by the Fireworks Committee members.

When the fireworks display was move to barges, new challenges arose. The barges were dropped off at Dooley's and needed to be pulled across the lake by a Fireworks Committee member's boat.

Bringing the barges out for the Tichigan Fireworks is no easy task. There are six barges all together. In two different trips, three barges are towed out at a time. First by trailer to the boat launch, then by boat to the launch site. This process has to start weeks before show night.

Lonnie and Linda Keckhaver have towed the fireworks out on the special night since 2003. The barges are non-motorized and therefore have no brakes or reverse. It is a special feat and Linda admits that she gets very nervous towing the barges. Not knowing how many boats and people are out there watching and waiting for the fireworks to start, her and her husband pull the six barges out onto the lake filled with everything for the "show to go on" including Jim Elliot from J & M Displays.

Ray Trzesniewski, Jr. of J & M Displays starts planning the show for next year usually shortly after the fireworks display or even the day of !!

There are a lot of different types of fireworks to choose from, including a wide variety of prices.

Happy Face patterns are always a favorite along with Peace signs. These fireworks are put in to 5 - 6 inch canisters called Special Effect Shells. They start by putting them in a mold and placed inside the shell, and of course, the weather conditions have to be just right to get the right pattern.

To achieve different sounds, different powder compositions go into the tubes. Every sound device is a little miniature tube that goes into the shell. There is also a hole that is put into the side of the tube before they put the powder composition in. The location of the hole or the angle of the hole determines the different sounds.