Pilot Butte Fireworks Show
Each year, we celebrate the fourth of July with community parades, picnics, barbeques, and fireworks. Bend has the honor of having one of the most unique fireworks shows in the world. By shooting the fireworks off the 500 foot summit of the Butte, the show is visible for miles in all directions. Each year, thousands of people come to Bend from all over the NW to see this great fireworks show. But what do you know about what it takes to put on the show?
The Bulletin – this is the 25th year that the Bulletin has sponsored the fireworks in Bend. The 2014 show is sponsored in partnership with the Bank of the Cascades as a gift to the community.
Combined Communications – they air the music for the show. Tune in to 99.7 The Bull at 10pm on July 4th to hear the synchronized sound track to the entire show on the Butte.
Oregon State Parks – across the state, fireworks are banned in all State Parks… except for a few permits they allow each year; Pilot Butte State Park for the Bend Fireworks show is one of them. Parks employees also ensure the safety of the Butte and protect its natural features to ensure it is enjoyable to visit the Butte the rest of the year. Crews were hired to mow down grasses along the road way and around the summit to limit the flammable vegetation build up.
Bend Fire Department, Oregon Department of Forestry and the US Forest Service – all three agencies provide fire fighters and fire engines on the Butte to protect the park and the people at the top running the show at no cost to the sponsors or operators. As many as 5 fire engines with up to 30 personnel are needed to protect the Butte.
Bend Police Department – they along with the private security company hired by the fireworks company, provide safety and security for the site before, during and after the actual show.
Taylor NW – they provide a water tender to apply more than 10,000 gallons of water mixed with foam at the top of the butte just before the show starts. This foam pre-treatment lessens the chance of a fire starting near the summit and spreading to the fireworks and personnel.
Homeland Fireworks – they provide the expertise to set up and fire the show. It takes nearly 3 full days to set up this show and ensure it goes off without a hitch.
Crater Lake Council, Boy Scouts of America – the boy scout troops come in on July 5th each year to scour the entire Butte to pick up any debris that has fallen down from the fireworks show. This is a fundraiser for the troops throughout the area. This ensures Pilot Butte State Park’s beauty is not permanently affected by the fireworks show each year.
All of this work takes long hours of coordination, months in advance of the show. Without all these players involved, this show would not be possible for our community. The next time you see someone from the Bulletin, Bank of the Cascades, State Parks, Bend Fire, ODF, USFS, BPD, ODOT, Taylor NW or the Boy Scouts, please thank them for making this possible.
For more information on fire safety, please visit the Bend Fire Department’s website at www.bendoregon.gov/fire.