Milwaukee fireworks; company readies lakefront display

Milwaukee's lakefront fireworks return July 3 after a two-year interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

J&M Displays has brought the Independence Day display to Milwaukee since 2011.

"It's really great to be back up here for this event because its such a long-standing tradition for the city, and it's great to be a part of it," said Tim Zurmuehlen with J&M Displays.

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Zurmuehlen has been with J&M Displays for 25 years. He's mastered the art of fireworks, all down to just the push of a button.

"Each one of these has a wire coming out of it," he explained. "It's all preprogrammed on the computer. And that’s loaded into the system and it takes it."

Milwaukee lakefront fireworks preparations at Veterans Park (2022)

Zurmuehlen said, instead of three barges full of fireworks on the lake this year, there will be only one.

"By the time things fell into place this year, logistically, there wasn’t enough barges available," he said.


The rest of the fireworks are going off in Veterans Park. Fences guarantee viewers will be just a few steps back as the show goes on.

"If you want to get a spot down here, even if your spot is covered by fence, you better get down here early," said Zurmuehlen.

Milwaukee lakefront fireworks

Frequent lakefront bicyclists, like Scott Singewalm, are looking forward to welcoming the thousands that choose to celebrate the holiday along the lake.

"I think the celebration just shows were hopefully back to whatever the new norm is. It’s a fun thing, everyone is looking forward to it and I love it," he said.

The fireworks are set to launch around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, and the display is expected to last about 45 minutes.