Behind the scenes: Portland 4th of July fireworks


Western Display Fireworks custom designs each show

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It takes hundreds of hours to put together a 20-minute fireworks show that dazzles thousands of people on nights like the 4th of July. David Pomeroy ought to know.

He’s the 5th generation in his family to work in their fireworks business, Western Display Fireworks. “It’s more than just fun. It’s kind of a family deal,” he said.

Each fireworks show they do in Oregon, Washington and Idaho is custom designed by Pomeroy’s mother. After the design, it’s packed and shipped to wherever the location is.

Every single show has its own crew and collectively the business hires about 1500 part timers.

The fireworks for Portland’s Independence Day celebration will include more than 300 effects.

The customization includes the specific effect, what songs to use and when to explode them on a musical note.

“There are many different things you can change,” he told KOIN 6 News. “It’s a pretty advanced system.”

The hours and hours of planning are all worth it, he said.

“It’s all worth it when you can hear them cheering because there is a lot of behind the scenes that you don’t know about when you watch a 20 minute show.”

The 4th of July fireworks will begin at 10 p.m. You can watch them in person in downtown Portland. But you can also watch them on KOIN 6 TV and on

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