Finger on the button
Meet the man behind fireworks display
Tyler Dingerson is the person responsible for entertaining Big Sky with the fireworks show starting at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday evening. He started out working as a lift operator and now has been a ski patroller for 13 years. Additionally, he has worked with Big Sky Fireworks out of Helena for about 13 years, doing multiple shows in Big Sky.
They originally put on shows every Saturday night in addition to New Year’s Eve and other holidays, but after it appeared the only people coming for the shows were the resort crew, they limited them to just the Fourth and the new year, said Dingerson. Despite working at a ski resort and being used to the cold, Tyler prefers the Fourth of July show.
“It’s real nice doing this compared to the New Year’s shows where it’s always 10 below,” he said. (This year, Big Sky is experiencing unusually cool temps for the start of summer.)
The 2018 Big Sky fireworks display will run between 15 and 18 minutes. It has moved locations to adjust for the construction in the Town Center, but viewing will be optimal at the Town Center Park. As in previous years, the fireworks are timed with the singing of the “National Anthem.” Expect the first explosions just as the lyrics mention the rocket’s red glare.
Talking logistics, Dingerson explained that in order for a show to be successful and keep mishaps to a minimum, it’s important to maintain a good amount of space, “Between where they shoot and where people and buildings are.” Occasionally fireworks go off prematurely in the air, making it to only 10 or 12 feet up before exploding.
Leading up to showtime, Dingerson gets the trailer with all the equipment from Ric Almendinger, owner of Big Sky Fireworks, which has all the directions he needs to get the presentation going. The directions list what size of shots go when. Everything is electronically wired, so Dingerson just has to put it all together and push the button.
“The whole show is coordinated out to where it’s entertaining for people. (There is) an opening finale, middle finale, and grand finale,” added Dingerson. Afterward, he waits an hour to check and make sure there were no duds that failed to go off.
“When it comes to fireworks bigger is better,” remarked Dingerson, looking forward to the annual, fiery celebration. “My favorite tomorrow will be the eight-inchers.”
Do you like to blow up stuff?
When you click on the “Join Our Team” tab for bigskyfireworks.com, here’s what you learn: “Big Sky Fireworks employs about 50 employees. We operate in Montana, Wyoming and we’re currently expanding into other states! We’re looking for people who love to travel and look forward to mini-family vacations.
Big Sky Fireworks is a family-friendly business! Many of our employees involve their spouses and kids in our client celebrations and events! We work with various state rodeos; local sports teams and several college teams; community symphony groups; statewide Fourth of July celebrations. We also serve at the public levels providing local no cost firework shows to demo our consumer fireworks for sale. Our employees’ jobs range from basic to advanced positions. We place very high value on our employees at every level. From basic set up, take down and clean up as a helper, to a team leader, who oversees the show and handles public relations, there are many opportunities in our line of work for advancement and job growth.”