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‘This ones for Dad’: A look behind the scenes of the annual Pilot Butte Fourth fireworks show

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Crews of Sure Shot Blasting and Fireworks are hard at work, getting ready for the annual Fourth of July fireworks show from the summit of Bend's Pilot Butte.

Eight-inch, three-inch, five-inch and even 10-inch fireworks will be fired off from atop the butte.

One of the tasks is clearing out the tubes that hold the fireworks. One crew member said Monday a little piece of paper can make the difference for the firework shooting as high as it can.

The crew has been working together for years.

"We do everything besides the finale for safety reasons," Chris Mattison said. "But most of the show will be hand-fired and shot by the pyros that worked with my dad."

Chris and his brother Dillan are taking over the company after their father, Gary Mattison, passed away. This will be the first year without him.

The brothers said they are very excited for the show.

Chris described the show in what he called "fire language. ... The buildup to 'boom, boom, boom, boom, boom!'"

The company has been prepping since March. They work with Bend police and fire departments and the state fire marshal.

One of the show's sponsors, Subaru of Bend, told NewsChannel 21 that $80,000 will go to the fireworks and security.

The crew takes extra precautions for the July heat and wets the butte down three times before the show.

A fire crew is also on standby.

The brothers said for any first-time viewers, the best spot to watch the show is ... anywhere.

"Just look towards the butte and get ready. Get ready for a good show!" Chris said.

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Isabella Warren

Isabella Warren is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Isabellahere.


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