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They'll fire 2,000 rockets off the dam


It takes a lot of coordination and planning to put on the fireworks display over Grand Coulee Dam on July 4, according to Rocketman Pyros owner Dan Verheul.

It all begins with the firm’s broker in China, and the selection of some 40 cases of carefully selected fireworks.

Then when it’s time to set up, it takes 6-8 people to lay out the fireworks, starting at about 9 a.m. and getting done about 12 hours later.

“We will lay out the displays from one end of the spillway to the other,” Verheul said last week.

The fireworks display “will last about 18 minutes,” Verheul stated. The Grand Coulee Dam show will be just one of 20 that his firm will be putting on across the region.

“There’s from 91 rockets in a case to just 18, depending on their size,” Verheul said.

For him, and his crew, it’s a long night.

“We will get off the dam about 3 a.m.,” he said.

Altogether there will be about 2,000 rockets set off during the show.

“Part of our reward is to hear the crowd show their appreciation when the show is over,” Verheul said.

This year’s show takes on a special local flair because it is sponsored by the Coulee Dam Federal Credit Union, in honor of its 75th anniversary.

Crowds begin to gather at the park below the Visitor Center early in the day and the crowd grows by the hour.

There will be bands, arts and crafts and food booths, a water park, the Laser Light Show, and finally, at about 10:30 p.m., the fireworks.

This will be the second season for Rocketman Pyros, out of Spokane, to display their pyrotechnic skills on top of Grand Coulee Dam.

This firm was selected again by the overall sponsor of the Festival of America event, the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce, which heard a lot of positive comments after last year’s show.

The celebration begins on Sunday, July 3, with all the features of the festival, save the fireworks show.


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