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Cain hopes to add local fireworks


Screen shot from the film Passfire that Cain was involved with

If you hear a loud explosion, hopefully it's just local man Alan Cain, who recently received his Pyrotechnics Display Operator License allowing him to use display-type fireworks that normal civilians can't get their hands on (lest they lose some fingers).

To get the license, Cain had to prove he had experience in at least six fireworks shows. Cain said he has experience with about 27, including baseball stadiums, events in Spokane, and other areas. Also needed to get the license are four references, acceptance by the Washington State Patrol, and passing a test, all of which Cain says he did.

Cain came to love explosions as a child, he said, starting with a chemistry set. "I was, unfortunately, entirely too successful," Cain joked.

"I went into the army, became a medic, and worked all sorts of places, including burn wards... so you gain some respect for what things like explosives can do," Cain said.

Cain later helped to sponsor a movie called "Passfire," about fireworks around the world. A passfire is a fuse which passes the flame ignition from one fuel chamber to the next in a display-type firework.

Now that he's licensed, Cain would like to do shows for the sheer thrill of it, including local festivals. He is aiming to put on a show the Saturday before Father's Day at North Dam Park during Koulee Kids Fest.

In order to put on the show, Cain needs permission from the city of Grand Coulee, the fire department, Coulee Area Park and Recreation District, and the Bureau of Reclamation, all of which would be concerned with the security and safety of the event to "make sure the universe doesn't burn down," as Cain put it.

"It should certainly be spectacular," Cain said. He is still waiting on approval from the park district and the Bureau, but feels optimistic about getting all the permits in time. Park district commissioners meet next Monday.

Cain is a member of the Northwest Pyrotechnics Association, which has about 130 members who would help put on the event and provide the fireworks. "We don't do commercial shows; we do shows for fun," Cain said.

Cain's favorite fireworks? "I'm into the colors more than the loud ones. ... I like sparkly ones - the willows, the things that break into the orange tendrils."

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