"...Would recommend them to anyone..."
We were extremely pleased with our selection of Stonebraker-Rocky Mountain Fireworks Co. for our recent event. They were very professional in every way. The fireworks were wonderful. We would like to recommend them to anyone in need of a fireworks display.
Mike & Peggy Shanahan
Former Denver Broncos Head Coach
"...Always a pleasure working with Stonebraker!"
The Town of Lyons and the Department of Park, Recreation and Cultural Events have been working with Stonebraker-Rocky Mountain Fireworks Co. to design and implement our fireworks show for the Annual Lyons Holiday Parade of Light for over 15 years now. Each year it is our goal to enhance our fireworks show and Stonebraker does a fantastic job ensuring that it is the highlight of our event. The attention paid to details surrounding the selection of fireworks chosen and how the show is planned and ultimately presented is incredible. It is always a pleasure working with the Stonebraker staff in making our fireworks show bigger and better each year.
Town of Lyons, CO
"...Couldn’t be Happier!"
...The show was just fantastic! We heard many compliments again about the display. Overall our numbers are up — from attendance to the number of local businesses we attracted as sponsors. We thank you for your participation in our success! Thanks again for your continued great service. George and his crew do an outstanding job. We couldn't be happier. Together we’re creating a legacy!
Mesa County Fairgrounds
Grand Junction, CO
"...A Stellar Event"
Much thanks for a stellar event. Your expertise, creativity and commitment is recognized and appreciated by our client, the attendees and most certainly, David and myself!
Hyra & David George
"This Family Business Keeps on Booming"
Michael Davidson, Broomfield Enterprise
July 2, 2008
There are worse jobs Bev Snyder’s parents could have chosen when they decided to start a family business. Snyder is president of the Stonebraker Rocky Mountain Fireworks Co. Her family has been putting on pyrotechnic shows in Colorado since the business was founded in 1955.
On Friday, the company will light up the sky over Broomfield as part of the fireworks show following the Great American Picnic. The show will start around 9:15 p.m. The company started planning the show in January, and started setting up at Broomfield County Commons on Tuesday. It will fire 1,237 shells into the air. Along with red, white and blue shells used in the finale, the company has upgraded to larger shells this year to take advantage of the move to a larger site.
Broomfield and the Stonebraker Rocky Mountain Fireworks have worked together since the 1980s. The long standing relationship allows the city to leave the majority of the work to the company, special events program manager Dana Cabot said.
"They’ve always done a very professional job," Cabot said.
The company works with factories in China and the United States to find the right shells, Snyder said. After that, a schedule is written out to specify the exact order in which the charges are fired by electronic launchers.
Even then, not everything will go according to plan. Rain can force the show to be canceled, but the greatest concern is wind, Cabot said. Last year, shifting breezes caused some ash and unburned remnants of cardboard shells to fall in neighboring subdivisions. Although city employees were sent to clean up, the debris was not hazardous, Cabot said.
"Most people were happy to pick it up themselves," she said.
Just in case, the firing site has been moved. That should keep residents from becoming surprise participants.
Staying away from fireworks shows was never a choice for Snyder. She has been working with fireworks since she was 13. For those not lucky enough to be born into the trade, she said it’s relatively easy to become a technician if you have a strong back and patience. Applicants must pass background checks, be willing to work every Independence Day and be able to lug around a lot of heavy equipment
"If you’re able to do all of that, we put you on a crew to do grunt work," she said.
The next step is working several shows as an assistant before becoming a certified pyrotechnician. Because of the industry’s seasonal nature, most of the company’s staff members have other jobs. Having a good time is more important than money.
"The nicest thing about this job is when people come to see us, they’re ready to celebrate," Snyder said.
The job is ideal for people who like to be the center of attention while staying behind the scenes," she said.
Most (pyrotechnicians) are the kind of people who are shy and like to be in the background. They’re sitting there in the dark knowing the applause is for what they’ve done," Snyder said.
Of course it’s also cool to shoot rockets into the sky and watch them blow up. Snyder doesn’t deny that, but she does say her job is more than making things go boom.
"I keep telling people we’re in the entertainment business, not the explosive business," she said.
The company does smaller displays for weddings, corporate functions and sporting events. Its smallest package costs $1,500, and the company will work with clients to find the site, customize the show and get the necessary permits from local governments and fire departments.
By Michael Davidson
Enterprise Staff Writer