Craig takes fireworks to the next level |

Craig takes fireworks to the next level

Fireworks light up the sky during the 2019 show by Craig Fire and Rescue.
Clay Thorpe/ for the Craig Press

Fireworks will light up the night sky in Craig on Monday, July 4, in a show set to be bigger and brighter than we’ve seen before.

Kris Olsen, Captain with Craig Fire and Rescue, said the expanded fireworks show this year is thanks to the City of Steamboat Springs who is donating some of their stock of fireworks to the Craig Fire and Rescue over the next five years. 

“I’ve been doing this show for many many years, and I am excited about this year,” Olsen said. 

A firework lights the night sky in the 2014 Fourth of July show in Craig.
Jordan Graff/For the Craig Daily Press

According to Olsen, Steamboat is moving away from pyrotechnics for its Fourth of July celebration so the city contacted Craig Fire and Rescue last year to offer the donation. 

One of the fireworks that will be included in this year’s show is 16 inches in diameter, the largest shell that Craig has ever shot. Olsen said the second largest firework Craig has ever had was a 12-inch diameter about twenty years ago. 

In addition to the 16-inch shell, Steamboat also donated three 12-inch fireworks and two 10-inch fireworks that will be used in Craig’s show this year. 

“It will take our show from what it was, to the next level,” Olsen said. “They have a bunch of fireworks that we’ve not been able to get in our show in the past just due to budget.” 

Over the years Steamboat has been known for hosting epic fireworks shows, Olsen said Steamboat has a massive amount of fireworks. In addition to Craig, the city is also donating some of their collection to other entities in the region.

Olsen said that the 16-inch firework alone would be about a quarter of the typical budget for the whole show. In total, Craig received about $5,000 in donated fireworks from Steamboat this year. 

A bigger show will lead to more work on behalf of Craig Fire and Rescue. Olsen explained that normally the fire department uses racks to line the fireworks up and then they go off in succession. 

Since the larger shells won’t fit into the racks the department will need to dig holes to hold them and they will be launched from the ground. Samuleson’s hardware donated equipment rentals to the fire department so they can properly prep the site for the show. 

Olsen said the Craig launch site is ideal for this type of show, whereas the Steamboat launch site was in a heavily wooded area. 

Craig Fire and Rescue will launch the fireworks from the property across from the high school football field on the south side of Ninth Street. 

The show will be visible from pretty much anywhere in Craig, though many people opt to watch from the high school parking lot. Another popular spot is in the hospital or the college parking lot across from the launch site.

Before the show, around 6 p.m., the fire department will block off Ninth Street by the practice football fields, to maintain a safety perimeter with the fireworks on site. The high school and parking lots will still be fully accessible. 

The show will start between 9 – 9:30 p.m. as soon as it gets dark enough outside. Typically, the show would last for 20-30 minutes. Olsen said that last year the show was a little shorter just because of the price of fireworks. 

“This year, I think we’ll be solid for a 30-40 minute show,” Olsen said. 

Craig Fire and Rescue has daily communication leading up to the day of the firework show, to make sure conditions remain suitable to set off the fireworks. 

As of right now with no fire bans in place, we can all get ready to see a big and bright show on Monday night.

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