Before the Big Bang

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Lead firework technician Paul Fontaine has a confession to make.

Paul says, "I've shot hundreds of fireworks shows and very rarely have I seen any, because being the technician you don't have time to look up and enjoy them."

He doesn't expect to see them when his group Pyro shows sets off a $15,000 show at Pier Park Monday night.

The show includes 2,000 pounds of product including 650 pounds of powder. Each of the racks holds several plastic cylinders in which the fireworks are placed.

The 30 second fuses are keys to the timing.

"We use a lot of masking tape around here. We're replacing it with our own time fuse, that way we don't have to light or leave our hands in this rack, [we] light each individual one, where we can just sit here and light the end."

And in this age of computers and gadgetry, this team of seven people will light these babies the old fashioned way, by hand.

"It’s always dangerous when you're dealing with explosives. Experience will teach you what to do, what not to do, where to be when the shells are actually lifting."

He'll be right on the pier, wearing a helmet and earplugs among other things, hoping we all enjoy the show, the one he won't get to see.