Tradition and patriotism take center stage on the Fourth of July, but behind the scenes of the Anchorage firework show is an Alaska family with a passion for blowing stuff up.

Kylie and Meghan Clark are third-generation pyrotechnicians.

“It’s pretty common actually for a pyrotechnic business to be multi-generational thing, so we are in good company,” Kylie Clark said.

Alaska Pyrotechnics is their family business, founded in 1949. The sisters took over after their father, Rodney Clark, suddenly passed away eight years ago.

When it comes to fireworks displays, the sisters have to be meticulous. The risk is high and safety is key. More than 2,000 fireworks will be set off at midnight, following the annual double-header baseball game at Mulcahy Stadium.

The sisters said they turn to their husbands for help to set up carefully choreographed, colorful fireworks displays.

“This was one of our first dates, our really romantic firing system,” Kylie Clark said.

For this family, the Fourth of July isn’t a day off, it’s another day at the office. But it certainly does bring them together.

KTVA 11’s Shannon Ballard can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.

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