‘Largest single show in the Midwest:’ Preparations underway for US Bank Fireworks đźŽ†

MILWAUKEE -- It's one of the largest fireworks displays in the Midwest, and it will light up Veterans Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront Tuesday night, July 3. FOX6 News will carry the U.S. Bank Fireworks show live on air and online.

Floating calmly in Port Milwaukee Monday, July 2 were barges, on the eve of an explosive show.

US Bank Fireworks

"Each year we change it up a little bit. We've got a range of shells, from three inches in diameter up to 10 inches in diameter on each barge," said Tim Zurmuehlen.

There was one exception.

"The middle barge will have the largest shell for the show, with one 16-inch diameter," said Zurmuehlen.

Zurmuehlen is the pyrotech in charge. On Monday, he was preparing, by hand, the U.S. Bank Fireworks display.

US Bank Fireworks

US Bank Fireworks

"This, as far as we know, is the largest single show in the Midwest around the Fourth of July," said Zurmuehlen.

US Bank Fireworks

The barges float up from Illinois. The fireworks are from Iowa, provided by J&M Displays.

"They are dropping the rest of the big shells that go on that barge," said Zurmuehlen.

Zurmuehlen and his team were nearly finished installing the show finale Monday afternoon.

"We do all the design in-house," said Zurmuehlen.

Three techs will be positioned on each barge during Tuesday night's show.

US Bank Fireworks

US Bank Fireworks

US Bank Fireworks

"We'll have a blast shield that will meet Coast Guard requirements," said Zurmuehlen.

J&M Displays has been creating Milwaukee's Fourth of July fireworks for seven years, but this is the final year U.S. Bank is sponsoring.

"They have expressed they want to continue this event, so we're helping them reach out and find sponsors," said Zurmuehlen.

Zurmuehlen said he's confident he'll be back with a new backer.

If you do not want to deal with the traffic and crowds, stick with FOX6. We are Milwaukee’s only TV station carrying the entire US Bank Fireworks show live. Our coverage begins a 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

Below is information from the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office regarding road closures associated with this fireworks display:

The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office will be closing the I-794 northbound lanes of the Hoan Bridge Tuesday night at 8 p.m. at Carferry Drive prior to the fireworks.  The fireworks are expected to start at 9:30 p.m. All lanes of traffic, northbound and southbound, will be closed during the fireworks and reopen following the display.

Access to I-794 eastbound at the Marquette Interchange will be closed to all vehicle traffic, except buses. McKinley Marina parking will be restricted to those with current season permits or those with legitimate business at the marina.

To alleviate traffic congestion after the fireworks, traffic southbound on the Hoan Bridge will be open for those heading to the south side.  Traffic on southbound Lincoln Memorial Drive must take westbound I-94 or head southbound over the Hoan.  Westbound Michigan Street and westbound Clybourn Street will be closed to vehicle traffic after the fireworks.

Lincoln Memorial Drive will be closed to vehicle traffic when all lots are full, which in past years has been as early as 5 p.m. Be advised that deputies may need to divert traffic leaving the lakefront area to ease the expected heavy traffic flow.

Additional information from the Milwaukee County Parks Department website: Rules for the Fireworks at the Lakefront

  1. Overnight vehicular parking is not allowed in Veterans Park on July 2 or 3 -- See the Fees & Regulations and Event Site & Parking Map
  2. Driving a vehicle into the park is not allowed (it's never allowed!)
  3. Dropping off passengers on Lagoon Road is not allowed on July 3. The Gift of Wings Kite Store parking lot will serve as a lot for vehicles with state-issued disabled plates or hang tags. Availability is limited; when this lot is full, event-goers will need to use general parking.
  4. Using tent stakes or other stakes to mark a "saved" spot is now allowed (staking is never allowed!)
  5. Pack it in, pack it out! So everyone can enjoy a clean, safe and fun Fourth of July, the Milwaukee County Parks and the City of Milwaukee's Fourth of July Commission remind you to place trash in the proper containers or to take it with you.