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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Thousands are expected to gather for Columbus’ annual Red, White & BOOM! Monday, and while preparations are underway for the show, those aren’t the only preparations taking place.

Some of those preparations include securing a spot to watch the fireworks show, and some people are making sure that’s not a last-minute scramble.

“We’ve made this a family tradition since 2009,” said Chris Eastman, who had his spot for 12 people staked out on Sunday. “I’ve been to fireworks in Boston, of course in Texas, and a bunch of major cities,” he said. “Red, White and BOOM! is the best. I always come out, find a plot of land, and just kind of lay here on your back while the fireworks explode above you.”

Eastman wasn’t the only one securing his spot early along the Scioto Mile. James Willis was also out on Sunday. His family has been attending Red, White and BOOM! for more than 20 years.

“My mom started doing it when I was little and we would always show up, you know, 7 o’clock or so, be out there, you know?” Willis said. “Blankets, crowded. I started taking over. I come out, mark the spot now, bring the tents, you know? We spend the day. I recommend doing it. It’s easier.”

Vendors were also preparing for Monday’s day-long event.

“If we didn’t set up the day before, there’s no way we would be prepared for the show time,” Tabitha Ellinwood, assistant manager of Hartland’s food service, said.

It makes for a long day, but Ellinwood is hoping for a lot of business.

“With me and the help of people, we are really hoping to be sold out with, like, two hours left,” she said.

Everyone, though, is hoping for some good weather Monday.

“The thing is, the weather is playing a big part,” Barouch Sontag with Mediterranean Cuisine said. “If it’s the weather, you know, is not right, you don’t have too much time to accommodate for it because either it’s there or it’s not. It’s gone.”

The fun starts at 11 a.m. Monday with the BOOM! Street Festival, wrapping up with the fireworks show at 10 p.m., launching this year from the east bank of Genoa Park.