Visitors and residents in the Wood River Valley will once again be treated to spectacular fireworks displays up and down the valley on the evening of Monday, July 4.

    In Sun Valley, a fireworks display at Sun Valley Resort will fire from the Sun Valley Horseman’s Center just before 11 p.m.  on Saturday, July 2, following the first Sun Valley on Ice performance of the year at the Sun Valley Ice Rink.

    Resort spokesman Jack Sibbach said the display will last about six minutes, and will be best viewed from near the Sun Valley Village. It will be less visible in Ketchum due to buildings obstructing the view.

    The biggest display in the valley will happen in Hailey, capping off a day of Fourth of July festivities.

    The $15,000 display will be set to music broadcast on KECH radio and is scheduled to begin at dark—sometime around 10-10:30 p.m.—and will last between 20-25 minutes, said Hailey Fire Marshal Mike Baledge.

    As in previous years, the display will be put on by Lantis Fireworks & Lasers of Draper, Utah. Baledge said 422 rockets will be launched during this year’s show, ranging in size from 3 inches to 7 inches.

    “The 7-inch rockets are the largest we’re allowed to fire,” Baledge said, adding that roughly half the rockets are small and half are large.

    The show will start with a single rocket and will build up with more and more rockets firing simultaneously until the grand finale.

    “The first mortar echoes out a single, emphatic statement about the price of our independence, followed by a silent pause before the show rises into full celebration behind that somber tone,” said Hailey City Administrator Heather Dawson.

    The fireworks will be launched near the Wood River High School football stadium. Spectators are required to stay clear of the launch site, which will be taped off.  Approaching the perimeter of the launch site is dangerous and prohibited, Dawson said. Baledge also will be sitting at the launch site to ensure everything goes smoothly—and he’ll be wearing a helmet.

    “When you’re right there, stuff does fall back down on you,” he said. “When you get hit with half of one of those 7-inch shells, you feel it. I can’t imagine what it would feel like on your bare head.”

     Also taped off will be a fallout zone around the launch site where burning debris is most likely to land.

    While some of the fireworks can be seen from most places in Hailey, there are a few favorite spots where neighbors and visitors congregate, Dawson said, and people often start setting up their spots well in advance.

    “Seeing friends, neighbors and visitors is part of the fun,” she said.

    Some favorite spots to watch the show are from the Wood River Trail, McKercher Park, Foxmoor Park, Deerfield Park and Nelson Field.  Also, some neighborhoods with good views hold neighborhood parties for the purpose of watching the show, Dawson said.

    Baledge also offered a few viewing location suggestions in the parking lots at the Community Campus and Wood River High School, as well as a greenspace between the Hailey Post Office and the Mormon church.

    Baledge said the weather is expected to be sunny and clear over the holiday weekend, which bodes good news for fireworks displays, though it is expected to be hot and dry.

    Though there’s always a fire danger, Baledge said he’s not very concerned about fires starting from the big fireworks display, considering the huge effort put in by the Hailey Fire Department and Wood River Fire & Rescue to ensure preparedness.

    He said both agencies will be fully staffed for the display, with fire engines and firefighters stationed around the city ready to jump on any blazes started by burning debris.

    “It’s not the big fireworks display I’m worried about—it’s the 8,000 other people who will be in town,” Baledge said.

    Hailey has routinely produced a large Fourth of July fireworks display since at least 1956, and the show is produced solely from donations, Dawson said.  Baledge said the city hold several fundraisers every year to fund the annual event.

    “The city of Hailey holds an endowment gifted to guarantee the show, and the business community responds with donations made through the Hailey Chamber of Commerce to keep the show going each year,” Dawson said.

Email the writer: akerstetter@mtexpress.com

Load comments