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A-blazing sky [Photo]

Spectators at the 58th annual "Fire in the Sky" celebration watch fireworks over the parking lot at Hearnes Center on Saturday.

Caught in the rain [Photo]

Chicago residents Otto and Kelly Kudrna, center, huddle under their umbrella, along with other couples and families waiting out the rain before the "Fire in the Sky" fireworks display in Columbia on Saturday.

Caught in a jump rope [Photo]

Before the fireworks, a group of girls worked on their jump rope techniques. From left are Terriona Starks, Samantha Lester, Tanett Hopson and Tammie Jackson.

Ashland man plans on climbing another of the Seven Summits [Photo]

Bill Powell, who lives in Ashland, stands at the top of Mt. Elbrus in Russia in 2003. The mountain is part of the seven summits, which are the highest mountains on each continent, and is the second one Powell has climbed. Powell plans to climb his third, Mt. Kilimanjaro, on Aug. 2 and says he will try to climb as many of the seven as he can.

Unwinding the cable for 'Fire in the Sky' [Photo]

Kayla Roberts, left, unwinds a firing cable away from Premier Pyrotechnic Inc.'s fireworks display for "FIre in the Sky," while Bill Davis prepares another cable on Saturday.

Fireworks computer demonstrated [Photo]

Mark Bookout demonstrates Saturday the computer responsible for launching the fireworks inside Memorial Stadium.

Pam Huddleston hugs her mother-in-law [Photo]

Pam Huddleston, left, hugs her mother-in-law Dorothy Huddleston during a birthday gathering for Dorothy Huddleston on Saturday at Cosmo-Bethel Park. "Today, the birthday girl can get anything," joked the birthday girl, whose family calls her Grandma Huddy.

Dorothy Huddleston at a party for her 84th birthday [Photo]

Dorothy Huddleston, right, adjusts a chair at a celebration for her 84th birthday on Saturday at Cosmo-Bethel Park. Four generations of the Huddleston family attended the celebration.

B.J. Powers cooks burgers on the Fourth [Photo]

B.J. Powers cooks burgers at a celebration for Dorothy Huddleston's birthday on Saturday at Cosmo-Bethel Park.

Zach Huddleston blows out birthday candles [Photo]

Zach Huddleston blows out the candles on his grandmother Dorothy Huddleston's birthday cake on Saturday at Cosmo-Bethel Park. Each year, the family gathers to celebrate her birthday as well as Independence Day.

Coffee and Games and More Meetup group [Photo]

Members of Coffee and Games and More, a Meetup group, share a laugh as they try out the board game Rummikub for the first time June 27 at It's a Grind coffee shop. From left are Christine Goyette, Pamela You, Colleen Brown, Kate Brown and Greg Leonard. The group has been meeting and playing games since November. "We always laugh so much, we always have fun," Leonard said.

Dog and owner at Ashland Independence Day parade [Photo]

Bryn the dog glances over her shoulder as her owner, Paul Beuselinck drives their float back to the start point of the Ashland Independence Day parade today.

Close-up at Ashland Independence Day parade [Photo]

Surrounded by the flurry of activity during the Ashland Independence Day parade, Bryn the dog sports a patriotic ribbon, samples the occasional Tootsie Roll and sniffs everything in sight.

Ashland Independence Day parade pases by [Photo]

Paul Beuselinck waves at residents of the Ashland Healthcare nursing home facility as the Ashland Independence Day parade passes by today.

Children at Ashland Independence Day parade [Photo]

Kayla Jestis,8, decorates her friend Daniel Gustofson, 6, with colorful plastic cable ties just before the start of the Ashland Independence Day parade today.

Lola the dog dressed up for Ashland parade [Photo]

Lola the yellow lab waits patiently for the Ashland Independence Day parade to begin today while cousins Mary Gracer Grover, left, and Mia Blanchard chat in the background.

Fireworks display at Midway Expo center [Photo]

Fireworks explode in the night sky at the Midway Expo Center in Columbia. The fireworks were operated by the FireOne system, which operates completely from a computer firing in tandem with music.

Jeff Cellucci of Sprit of '76 fireworks [Photo]

Jeff Cellucci of Spirit of '76 fireworks explains the path of the fireworks display he designed on June 19 at the Midway Expo Center.

Bob Gerau of Bob's Fireworks [Photo]

Bob Gerau of Bob’s Fireworks talks about his favorite fireworks that he has collected over the last 44 years.

Fireworks culture video [Video]

VIDEO: This video shows how fireworks culture is booming in Columbia. Bob Gerau has been a part of that culture as a local vendor of fireworks for the last 44 years. Jeff Cellucci shares a similar passion for fireworks with his work in designing firework displays for Spirit of ‘76 Fireworks.
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