Downtown Reno New Year's Fireworks: More Pizzazz, Memorials

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It wouldn't be New Year's without fireworks and for those willing to brave the cold and the crowds that means Virginia Street downtown Reno for the countdown and the show.

This year's display will be launched from three sites, Harrah's, the Cal-Neva and the Silver Legacy.

The show will last 17 minutes. Preparation takes quite a bit longer.

"We've been here on the properties for the past three days setting up, 10 to 12 hours a day, as fast as you can move in a safe manner," says Cory Wilcox, who heads the crew from Lantis Fireworks.

"Through the snow the other day, all this weather we've been having, we've been out here working to bring the show to you."

Wilcox is a fireman by profession, a pyrotechnicist by inclination.

It's a labor of love," he says. "I've got a full time job somewhere else, but this is my hobby. It's one of the funnest, I get a blast out of it."

And he's been doing this show for 8 years now.

He says the audience should expect an even better show than last.

"We've done some really nice shows I feel. The crowd down below tells me we've done good, but with that we critique it, rip it apart. What can we do different, add new effects, put some pizzazz into it.

Though the weather may have some questioning their desire to see the new year in this way, Wilcox says the cold, dense air actually enhances the show's sight and sound.

"It's crisper," he says. "Almost 3-D."

This year's show will also be a memorial of sorts featuring the music of some of the artists we lost this past year, people like Whitney Houston and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.

And it will start with the countdown from none other than Dick Clark himself.