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Photos: Preparing to light up Anchorage skies

Kevin Coe, in the orange shirt, directs others at the prep for Anchorage's 4th of July fireworks show. July 3, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
A sign outside the prep area where Alaska Pyrotechnics is setting up the fireworks for Anchorage's 4th of July show. July 3, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Kevin Coe moves some of the mortars into place. The 4th of July show will have over 500 mortars and a total of 1500 shots. July 3, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
849 pounds of fireworks were delivered for the July 4th show. July 3, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Safety is paramount when working with hundreds of explosive devices. July 3, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Workers splice together fuses for the finale, where over 300 shots will be fired. July 3, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Most of the fireworks are electronically triggered via cat 5 cable. Some, however, are triggered manually with road flares. July 3, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Boxes of fireworks wait to be loaded into their mortars. July 3, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Lori Koeneman attaches an electronic fuse to a 6" shell. July 3, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Meghan Clark, co-owner of Alaska Pyrotechnics, loading shells for Anchorage's 4th of July fireworks show. July 3, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Cat 5 cable runs from the mortars to the control unit. Most of the 1500 shots in the show will be electronically triggered. July 3, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Ezra Kaufman tests the cat 5 cables before attaching them to the charges. July 3, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Kylie Clark, co-owner of Alaska Pyrotechnics, loads a 6" shell into its mortar. July 3, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Lori Koeneman, left, and Morgan Osborn attach electronic charges to 6" shells. July 3, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Suzanna Caldwell

Behind Mulcahy Stadium, in a parking lot between baseball fields and the Anchorage Football Stadium, Alaska Pyrotechnics has a lot of PVC pipes to deal with.

It's just after noon on Tuesday and Kylie Clark has a firework show to put on. Pipes, set into racks, are being staged in the parking lot. Long, heavy duty phone cables are strewn out on the ground. She's on the phone to the city trying to get a garbage collector out. They usually don't come on Tuesday, but the dumpster in front of the staging area -- where all of the fireworks will be carefully ignited at midnight -- is full of garbage and a potential fire hazard.

Oh, and the fireworks still haven't arrived.

READ MORE: Behind the big booms that light up Anchorage skies