Fourth of July preps across the Rogue Valley

, Posted: Thu, July 3 2014 at 9:18 PM, Updated: Thu, July 3 2014 at 9:25 PM

Rogue Valley, Ore. -- 238 years ago, America claimed its independence from England.  But on Thursday, thousands of families claimed their spot along Ashland's Fourth of July Parade route.

On Thursday evening, Christopher Forest was reclaiming his families spot. He had originally set up just after midnight.

"I was driving back and saw someone had ripped up blanket and thrown it down the block a little ways," Forest said.

Setting up early is nothing new for Forest, but it's the first time someone hijacked his spot.

"I went home, got some additional stakes, and made a little note to say hey, it would be nice if you could just respect the fact that we were here first," he explained.

In Central Point Pirotechnic Lee Finlayson is gearing up for Friday's, Red White and Boom fireworks show at the Expo.

"This show just keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. We started doing this a couple of years ago, and we are going to start shooting off larger shell ones this year," Finlayson said.

Larger shells mean bigger fireworks, and he says there will also be more fireworks than ever before, with the entire show lasting about 25 minutes.

"We are going to give them what they want, and they want a lot of stuff in the air"

Finlayson says his team will begin laying out the shells around 6 Friday morning and guarantees this will be one of the best firework shows the valley has seen and felt.

"You gotta feel the thunder, that's what they say. You can see it from other places but if you really want to feel it, you gotta come right here and check it out."

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