Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Sun
Sunday, July 5, 2009 | 1:35 a.m.
The rockets glared brightly as the music of Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp blared and all eyes stared skyward at Red Rock Resort on Saturday night for Station Casinos’ 4th of July Blast.
Hundreds of people gathered with family and friends and filled the lawn near the resort’s pool for a nine-minute fireworks show choreographed to music paying tribute to America — with Sinatra and Elvis thrown in to recognize the hometown spirit.
Billed as the valley’s largest fireworks show, Red Rock was one of nine Station casinos to simultaneously light up the sky starting at 9:30 p.m.
Along with Red Rock, the choreographed show included Aliante Station, Boulder Station, Fiesta Henderson, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station, Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station and Texas Station.
“It was fabulous. They did a great job,” said Summerlin resident Karen Kovacevich, who was at Red Rock. “I really liked that they added in Elvis and Sinatra.”
It took Grucci’s of New York four days and about 1,500 man hours to set up and choreograph the displays.
At Sunset Station in Henderson, hundreds of spectators gathered in the casino’s amphitheater to watch the fireworks.
Gina Buthman and her daughter, Chelsea, celebrated their first July 4th in Henderson after recently moving from Idaho. “We saw their big sign because we live right up the street,” Gina Buthman said.
Roy Nunes and his fiancee, Deanna Bono, said they watched the fireworks at Sunset to avoid the crowds on the Strip. “This is the easiest one to get to,” Nunes said.
Bono thanked the servicemen and women who are serving in Iraq. “My brother lived in Afghanistan, and my father is in Iraq,” she said. “So we have to wait until they come home, and then we can get married.”
Christine DuBois, husband, Steve, and son, Jaden, celebrated their first Independence Day in Las Vegas at Sunset, too.
“We were looking for a fun picnic, sit-on-a-blanket type atmosphere... and they’re supposed to have the best show in town,” Christine DuBois said.
Flashes of red, white, blue and green fireworks filled the night sky while some children ran around swinging glow-in-the-dark necklaces and others sat quietly in their parents’ laps, eyes wide.
At Red Rock, after the casino’s floodlights were turned off, guests could see other, earlier displays in the distance. It only seemed to heighten the anticipation.
“Being able to see all the fireworks going off all over the valley, it makes it seem like it’s one giant show in a way,” Allaina Marcus of Summerlin said.
For Rick Merchin, dressed in red, white and blue, the day began early with the Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade followed by a barbecue with family and phone calls to friends he served with in the Vietnam War.
And the fireworks display, he said, was “the perfect end to a beautiful day.”