Tempe Town Lake fireworks show to be last for man in charge

It's a busy day for Steven Barnes and his crew.

In fact, the Fourth of July has been the pinnacle of his career as a pyrotechnic, more specifically, the show at Tempe Town Lake.

"This will be my 34th show," he said. "My first Fourth of July was in 1984. It was on this show."

Tonight will also be Barnes' last show.

"I have my moments, but it's time," he said.

After more than three decades, he's passing the torch... quite literally.

"It's always been Fireworks Productions of Arizona," he said. "I'm third generation to take it, John will be fourth."

John Fitzsimmons is the new head pyro in charge of the amazing 35-minute show.

"I"m very excited, this was the first real show that I started on back in 2002," he said. "Six years ago, I went off on my own and built my own crew. Most of the shows I fired were hand fired, this is electronically fired using a computer, so I had to learn how to program the computer."

Barnes has shown Fitzsimmons the ropes, how to wow the crowd, and most importantly, how to appreciate the reason why those fireworks are set off.

"One thing I will miss at the end of the show here is 200,000 people cheering," he said. "Over 10 years, the patriotic stuff for the vets because this is really, Independence Day, is about celebrating the freedoms we have here."