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Firecrackers return to Rupp Arena Saturday

The Firecrackers love entertaining UK fans. (Gary Moyers Photo)

LARRY VAUGHT

If you are going to be at Saturday’s Kentucky-Mississippi game you are in for an extra treat.

The Firecrackers, a performance jump rope team from Kings Local School District in Ohio, will be performing again for Rupp Arena fans. This is always the favorite halftime show of the season for most fans because of the extraordinary energy and skill the performers in grades two through eight have.

“Like always, we are really looking forward to it,” said coach Lynn Kelley. “The show will be pretty much the same except we do have a second grader on the team for the first time and we have 26 members instead of the normal 24.

“We will still have the usual tricks everyone really likes, fun music, fast routines. But we do have a much harder long rope routine with a couple of other new things I think everybody will really like.”

She has seven “new babies” on the team that will be performing at Rupp Arena for the first time.

The Firecrackers return to Rupp Arena Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

“They are in for a treat because I can still remember first time I saw the place and wondered what in the world we were doing there because it was so big,” Kelley said.

The team — which went to Louisville earlier this season — still has performances at Purdue (Feb. 22) and Indiana (Feb. 23) before NBA performances in with the Cleveland Cavaliers (Feb. 29) and Chicago Bulls (March 6).

Their final weekend March 14-15 will be special. They will perform at the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis March 15 and then at the SEC Tournament championship game in Nashville March 16.

This will be their third straight year to perform at the SEC tourney but first time to perform during the championship game after showing off their routine during a semifinal game before.

“Let’s just hope UK will be there (in the championship game) because that would make it a lot more fun for us,” Kelley said. “Our girls just love performing for Kentucky fans. They like coming to Rupp Arena a lot, too. We always get there early so they can go shop for UK souvenirs and then come back to get focused for the performance.”

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