Steamboat fireworks show shorter than typical
Organizers report holiday display didn’t go off exactly as planned
July 6, 2011
Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Springs residents who thought this year's Fourth of July fireworks show was shorter than previous ones are right.
Local fireworks philanthropist Tim Borden said Wednesday morning that this year's show was 16 minutes long. Organizers aim to make the show 18 to 22 minutes, Borden said.
The show's choreography did not go quite as planned because some of the fireworks ignited other fireworks before they should have gone off, he said.
"The show was kind of on its own in the middle part of it," Borden said.
He said 90 percent of the show's 10,000 shells went off, which is considered good in the fireworks industry.
Unused shells were collected and will be used in future shows.
The final blast during this year's show was a 16-inch, 50-pound shell that, after a brief pause between other fireworks, exploded noticeably higher than the other shells.
The larger shells go higher and are more expensive, Borden said. He does not know whether they are worth the additional expense.
"It didn't appear to many of us that it was that much different than the other ones," Borden said.
Also unusual this year was a tribute to longtime Steamboat resident George Hopkins Bond III, who died July 12 at age 66, Borden said. He taped Bond's ashes to a 12-inch color shell.
"It's not an uncommon thing," Borden said. "This is the first time I've ever done it."
Borden and his son Scott donate their time, expertise and launching equipment for the largest fireworks event in Steamboat. This year, they were helped by about 30 volunteers.
"I hope everyone liked the show," Tim Borden said.
Sponsors contributed $2,000 each to help pay for the show. They are Yampa Valley Bank, Native Excavating, The Industrial Co., Steamboat Resorts, Ace at the Curve, KBCR and Explore Steamboat. The city paid the remaining $11,000.
Borden said the city has the right to claim its July Fourth fireworks show as being the best in the state given the number of shells that are launched, the six firing locations and the Howelsen Hill venue that provides good views from almost everywhere in town. The $25,000 show is estimated to be worth $100,000.
The Bordens next will display their passion for fireworks Aug. 26 during celebrations coinciding with the USA Pro Cycling Challenge stop in Steamboat.
"It will be a much smaller show," Borden said. "It's nothing like the Fourth of July."
— To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com