Volunteers play critical role in Cudahy's fireworks display

CREATED Jul 4, 2014 - UPDATED: Jul 4, 2014

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CUDAHY -  Small towns with small budgets can still put on a big fireworks show, thanks in part, to the many volunteers, willing to give up their entire Fourth of July. They're volunteering their time and feeling patriotic for doing so.

"I couldn't picture myself doing anything else on the 4th," said Chris Janisch, volunteer.
It's a day off for many of us, but not for these guys.
"We are working. It's the hardest work day of the year for me," said Greg Janisch, volunteer.
Years ago, Greg and Chris Janisch were picking up litter in Cudahy for the National Honor Society and met a guy who was running the Fourth of July fireworks show.
We asked, "Did you think that 15 yrs later you'd be here today?"
"No!" said Greg Janisch.
The Janisch's and others return year after year to help out.
"It's kind of a community service that we do and we enjoy helping out the community," said Greg Janisch.
About a dozen men and women spend the entire day setting up the show and then running the show.
"Some community members who just wanna be involved in local fireworks displays and really enjoy blowing stuff up," said Dean Billo with Spielbauer Fireworks.
We asked, "Is it fun to blow up stuff?"
"Oh definitely. It's definitely fun to blow up stuff," said Chris Janisch, volunteer.
Cudahy spent about $14-thousand on fireworks this Fourth, mainly just for the shells.
"Would you guys be able to do this without the volunteers? Absolutely not. There's no way given our budget constraints ever since the economy took a hit. It's been difficult to get funding," said Billo.
Cudahy Mayor John Hohenfeldt's smiling ear to ear as he talks about the big show that this small community is able to put on.
"And when people give their hearts and their time and their talent, we couldn't ask for anything more. I couldn't ask for anything more as a mayor," said Hohenfeldt.
Whatever they're doing, they're doing it right. Amy Mejia from Cudahy says Cudahy's got the best fireworks. She staked out her spot more than nine hours early.
"It doesn't have a pause in it. It's constant and a lot and very exciting," said Mejia.
Fireworks are scheduled to start at 9:20 tonight in Cudahy.