LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Thousands of people descended on the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Exposition Park on Thursday evening for the 11th Annual Fireworks Extravaganza.
The fireworks started at 9 p.m., and were expected to last about an hour, making it one of the longest displays in the Southland, organizers said.
“For a display of this size, it takes two full days to set it up,” said Michael Tockstein, a pyrotechnician who will help set off 1,300 fireworks. “The show itself is choreographed to music.”
The patriotic spectacle was free to the public and was be preceded by entertainment, music, activities and a kids’ zone.
City Councilman Bernard Parks said the annual tradition was started as an attempt to curtail injuries and fire damage as a result of illegal fireworks.
Every July 5th, he said, police and fire officials had reported “stories about shooting guns in the air, what goes up comes down, loss of fingers, loss of limbs, loss of eyes.”
Officials “encourage people to know that it is illegal to even possess fireworks in the city of L.A., let alone just going out and exploding them,” Parks said. “So we want to make sure people know they can come here, have safe and sane fireworks. Let the professionals do it.”