Thousands turn out for Fort Vancouver festivities

Thousands turn out for Fort Vancouver festivities »Play Video

VANCOUVER, Wash- They had everything you need for a great party. From live music, to great food, even a chance to take a tour of the area in a biplane.

But no doubt it was the fireworks that were the main attraction.

We got a first-hand look at all the work that goes into  getting a 20 minute firework extravaganza ready.

A team got to Fort Vancouver at early Friday morning and didn't leave until early Saturday morning, but they say it's all worth it.

"I just hear a wave of people cheering after the shells go off. It makes you feel good that you put a smile on that many people's face," said Richard Clapp with Western Display Fireworks.

While most of us take the 4Th as a time to celebrate with family, no doubt it has a special meaning for those who served.

"I got shot in the shoulder once there's still a bullet in there," said Patrick Locke, a three-time Purple Heart recipient.

Locke earned three purple hearts for his service in Vietnam and loves seeing the patriotism in the crowd.

"When you fought for the country it means something to you. To see people enjoying themselves these day it means a lot and it means a lot to us as veterans," Locke said.

Organizers expected about 40,000 people for the fireworks show and say it all went off without a hitch.