Craig Community Fireworks Show is a go for 4th of July |

Craig Community Fireworks Show is a go for 4th of July

David Pressgrove / Craig Press
Fireworks light up the sky during the 2019 show by Craig Fire/Rescue.
Craig Press File

The bombs will be bursting and the rockets will be red-glaring, in fireworks form in Craig, this Fourth of July.

Normally, this is not big news because the men and women of the Craig Fire/Rescue department traditionally put on a show for the community. But with shows being cancelled throughout the country and the region due to COVID-19, the statement was not a given this year.

“Craig Fire and Rescue endorses social distancing,” said Lieutenant Chris Olsen. “But we felt that the nice thing about fireworks is that you can watch them from the safety of nearly every home in Craig and that would allow for a healthy show.”

Olsen has coordinated the show for the last 10 years as a member of CF&R. The CF&R department is the coordinator that manages the show while the City of Craig and the Moffat County Board of Commissioners split the cost of the show.

Olsen said that according to the fireworks supplier, some shows were not able to go on this year due to products from China being delayed by precautions from COVID-19. So, some crates of fireworks were delayed in harbors along the coastlines of the United States. Olsen said he thinks that the products for the Craig show were ordered early enough that they were not hindered by the March delays.

“We did a soft order pretty early so they had pulled ours and they made it through on time,” he said.

The fireworks will be shot from the regular spot, in the fields south of Moffat County High School, but the setup is not the same as year’s past. Last year CF&R updated to an electronic launch system. According to Olsen, having an electronic system allows for several advantages; the tubes and shells can be set up and prepared sooner, it is safer because firefighters are no longer manually lighting wicks, and it makes the show more water resistant.

“The fireboard set aside some funding to allow for us to upgrade because they saw the reasons to increase safety,” Olsen said. “Now, for the most part, the only thing that will cancel the show is if there is a wildland fire that requires Craig Fire and Rescue to allocate resources to that fire.”

Olsen said that Tim Borden, who has set off the “World’s Largest Firework” in Steamboat Springs, advised them on making the transition to the electronic system.

In all, the show will last between 20-30 minutes and shoot off more than 1,200 shells. Olsen said that there will be no limitations on parking at the high school, but did say that viewing from Colorado Northwestern Community College is also a good viewing spot if the high school area fills up. The show will start once CF&R deems it dark enough for the fireworks to be visible.

“We’re really glad to be able put on a show for the community, especially when so many others have been cancelled,” Olsen said. “We definitely see it as a valuable service to the community.”

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