By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Thousands are expected at the Inner Harbor Wednesday night for a massive fireworks display, and preparations are underway on a barge in the Curtis Bay section of Baltimore.

“There’s about 5,000 shells that will come off of this barge. On top of that, we have another 2,500 to 3,000 shells that will come off the barge that’s in the Inner Harbor. This is probably one of the biggest shows in the country this week,” Shane Davis of Pyrotecnico said.

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The fireworks show will begin at 9:30 p.m. and last 18 minutes. The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts says thousands of people will be watching, and there will be entertainment before the show.

“It’s the Ports America Chesapeake Fourth of July celebration at the Inner Harbor. Starting at 7 p.m., we have the U.S. Navy Band ‘Commodores’ — a jazz band. We’re glad to have them back this year and they will be at the Inner Harbor amphitheater,” said Tracy Baskerville of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts.

The Fourth of July means big business for downtown Baltimore hotels, including the Four Seasons in Harbor East.

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“The view is probably the best part. Our harbor view rooms are the most popular. To watch the fireworks here on the water is an incredibly special day. Locals love it and tourists come from all over the East Coast,” said Sean Casserly of the Four Season Hotel.

If you think Baltimore’s heat wave will affect the fireworks, organizers say not to fret.

“It won’t affect the shells, they all get wrapped in foil. We put foil over the top of them, so it shouldn’t affect the show at all,” Davis said.

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