Winter Carnival: 1-of-a-kind fireworks show a year in the making |

Winter Carnival: 1-of-a-kind fireworks show a year in the making

Luke Graham

— Tim Borden was hesitant to make any promises.

There are a lot of variables when dealing with a 36-inch, 500-pound firework.

"I don't have a whole lot of predictions of what's going to happen," Borden said.

Scott and Tim Borden pose with a firework shell in 2012. Tim Borden estimates there are 250 man-hours put into building the 36-inch, 500-pound firework for this year's Winter Carnival.Matt Stensland

If past shows are any indication, the 100-year celebration for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club will feature a one-of-a-kind firework show.

The show will begin at about 8:30 or 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, with the 36-inch shell set to be the finale.

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Should it go off, the firework will match the largest ever shot off in North America.

And if it does go off, it will go a mile into the air and spread a mile across the sky.

A couple of years ago, Borden got his firework manufacturer's license because he wanted bigger and better fireworks.

Then he hooked up with pyrotechnician Jim Widmann, from Connecticut, who makes the shells.

Widmann and several others from Denver came to Borden's house several times in the past year to help put together a 36-inch shell.

Borden estimates there are 250 man-hours into building the one shell.

"It's taken a year to build this thing," he said. "They've been coming out 10 days at a time. They've been out three or four times. It's a very involved and complicated process putting the chemicals together."

Borden and the crew launched a 24-inch shell at the celebration for the Winter Carnival's 100th anniversary last year. After the success of that, he decided they should try and do a 36-inch shell.

Borden had to get Federal Aviation Administration approval for the firework because it covers the flight paths of the Steamboat Springs Airport and Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

He has hired a film crew from New York as well local videographer Ben Saheb to film the event.

He said the film crew will provide priceless research as he moves forward.

"The data on this firework will help us in attempting to surpass that in future years," Borden said.

He said the goal is to eventually break the world record size of 54 inches. He's not sure when it might happen, but depending on the success of this show, it may not be too far away.

"It's just a personal hobby of mine," he said. "I'd like to eventually have the world record."

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham