Winter Carnival 2017: Borden goes big again with Night Extravaganza fireworks |

Winter Carnival 2017: Borden goes big again with Night Extravaganza fireworks

Tim Borden stands next to the 48-inch shell he launched during the 2016 Winter Carnival.
Matt Stensland

— The fireworks during Saturday’s Night Extravaganza proves to be a memorable experience each year.

That is thanks to Tim Borden, a Steamboat Springs resident and fireworks nut who donates the fireworks each year to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club on behalf of Yampa Valley Bank.

In recent years, Borden has been trying to secure the record for the largest firework ever launched in the world.

During the 2016 Winter Carnival, Borden successfully launched his first 48-inch shell that took hundreds of hours to build at his licensed fireworks facility at his ranch.

Borden returns this year with another 48-inch shell, but this one will be packed with more powder and be 50 pounds heavier, weighing about 1,275 pounds.

“We still believe it may be the heaviest fireworks ever launched in the world,” Borden said.

The biggest firework ever launched that Borden is aware of was a shell in Japan. It was somewhere between 50 and 52 inches in diameter.

Buried into Emerald Mountain is a 20-foot-long, 9-ton launch tube that will shoot the firework as high as 2,000 feet into the air. (The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified.)

An additional 12 to 15 pounds of high explosives will be added this year so the shell goes higher than last year.

Sensors under the mortar will measure the burst pressure.

“Most of what we’re doing is data collection, and it’s going to give us the info to move forward with our goal,” Borden said.

The 48-inch shell will be the last firework launched during the main show, which lasts between seven and 12 minutes and starts once the Lighted Man has completed his second lap down Howelsen Hill.

Right before the 48-inch shell, a 24-inch, 450-pound shell will be launched.

Again this year, Borden will be at the controls.

“That’s one of the perks of being responsible and paying for this,” Borden said. “I get the fun job of pushing the button.”

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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