After a failed 2019 attempt, four Colorado men plan to break the world record for the largest firework this weekend.
This year’s 62-inch firework shell weighs over 2,500 pounds and is currently buried beneath the surface of a mountain in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. On Saturday, explosives will propel the firework out of the ground at 300 mph.
“It’s really a personal goal for all four of us on the team to be part of a world record because we all love fireworks,” Tim Borden of Steamboat Springs Fireworks said.
The current world record for the largest firework was set in the United Arab Emirates in 2018 with a 2,397 pound shell.
Officials from Guinness World Records will attend the launch and present a certificate to Borden and his team if they are successful.
Borden says the process took seven years and 2,000 hours of building progressively larger fireworks. They used data from the smaller fireworks to plan last year’s record-breaking attempt, which exploded too early.
“When you think of it on the physics level, to get a ton of anything up in the air with one explosion takes quite a bit of thinking,” Borden said.
Borden, in collaboration with Ed MacArthur, Eric Krug, and Jim Widmann, have learned from last year’s failure. As one of their precautions, they have made a shell casing out of sixty miles of tape (yes, you read that right).
“It took a month of eight-hour days just to wrap this firework,” Borden said. “Last year, we think the shell might not have been quite thick enough to withstand the burst that sent it into the air.”
Borden is confident that this year’s launch will be successful, but if it fails again, the team won’t give up.
“I’ll be disappointed, even more so than last year,” he said, “But the four of us would go back to the drawing board, and we’ll be able to tell from the failure what went wrong. And if its something that we feel we can get a handle on, we’ll try again.”