Our view: Firework was spectacular in more ways than one

Steamboat Springs has a new claim to fame. Ski Town USA is now home to the Guinness World Records’ largest aerial firework thanks to the herculean efforts of Tim Borden and his pyrotechnic crew, which included Jim Widmann, Eric Krug and Ed MacArthur.

The firework weighed almost 2,800 pounds, measured 62 inches in diameter and launched 2,200 feet up into the night sky over Howelsen Hill. It marked the team’s second attempt at the record, and it was the result of over seven years of planning, research and work.

The Steamboat Pilot & Today has been reporting on Borden’s penchant for fireworks over the past seven years. The newspaper chronicled the successful launch of Borden’s first 48-inch shell during the 2016 Winter Carnival, which was followed by bigger and more spectacular fireworks each year, culminating with this year’s 62-inch monster.

When last year’s world record attempt failed, Borden didn’t give up on his dream of claiming a place in the record books for himself and Steamboat.

It took another year of planning and effort to succeed on the second try, including a logistical challenge right before the launch, where the team had to transport the shell through a dump of 2 feet of new snow dropped on Steamboat the day of the launch. And then Mother Nature played her role, providing perfect conditions for a spectacular fireworks display with clear skies and low winds.

The launch was epic. Even the few seconds lag between the moment the firework left the mortar and the moment it exploded high above Howelsen served to amplify the experience. For a short time, people stood silent, fearing the firework had once again failed. But then suddenly, the night sky turned a spectacular bright red, and everyone knew they were witnessing a once-in-a-lifetime event.

During an award ceremony later that night where Borden and his team were officially honored by the Guinness World Records, adjudicator Christina Conlon said, “This team displayed all the qualities that we at Guinness World Records love to celebrate — tenacity, perseverance and a dogged determination to achieve the impossible.” And we couldn’t agree more with her assessment.

The firework’s successful launch served as a very tangible reminder of what can happen when someone has a big dream and doesn’t give up. We applaud Borden for forging ahead after last year’s firework fizzled. Borden and his team persevered, and their grit and never-give-up attitude paid off. The big boom was worth the wait, and we can’t think of a better time to show off Steamboat than during Winter Carnival — an event that exemplifies everything that makes Steamboat so special.

If you go

At issue: Steamboat Fireworks, led by local Tim Borden, successfully launched a world record-setting firework at the 2020 Winter Carnival Night Extravaganza.

Our view: The launch put Steamboat on the map internationally and also served as a display of grit and determination.

Editorial Board

  • Logan Molen, publisher
  • Lisa Schlichtman, editor
  • Jason Gilligan, community representative
  • Don Moss, community representative

Contact the Editorial Board at 970-871-4221 or

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.